Persons with psychosocial and mental health problems have recently gained lots of attention from the global medical fraternity; and one area of this endeavor is the protection of the rights of such persons. It is often said by many people that persons with mental health issues are often marginalized and even maltreated by family, peers and more seriously some unscrupulous healthcare practitioners.
Ghana is set to see massive improvement in this light which will spread across the West African sub-region as qualityrights of persons with various psychosocial and mental health conditions have been launched in the country. A highly eventful and well attended program organized by the World Health organization (W.H.O) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (M.O.H.) and the Mental Health Authority (MHA) took place last Tuesday at the Accra International Centre.
Chaired by the President of the National House of Chiefs Togbe Afede XIV, the very colourful program was attended by people from across all fields of the medical sector and beyond.
Among other dignitaries were; H.E. Christof Retzlaff – The German Ambassador to Ghana, Jemima Duff – from DFID U.K., Dr. Michelle Funk – Coordinator of Mental Health Policy and services development of the W.H.O., Dr. Stephen Shangwe – Director for Non-Communicable Diseases, AFRO region, Hon. Tina Mensah – Deputy Minister of Health and Dr. Akwasi Osei – Chief Executive Officer, Mental Health Authority (M.H.A)
The program entailed a wonderful blend of keynote addresses from the dignitaries, particularly those from oversees, who all pledged their support for mental health and overall healthcare improvement in Ghana and across the African continent.
There were short drama performances and poetry recitals on Mental Health and finally a dance performance by students of the Dzorwulu Special School (A school established for children with mental health conditions). All the performances added a rich artistic touch to the august ceremony which marked the historic launching of Quality Rights in Mental Health in Ghana.
W.H.O Mental health Quality Rights initiative is a drive by the world governing body to improve the quality of mental health care by making treatment more patient-centered and evidence based. Ghana is lucky to be one of the first countries to launch this program in the West-African sub-region.