NGO says there are over 19,000 mental patients in northern Ghana

Tamale – Basic Needs, a non-governmental organization, in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service has registered 19,686 mental and epileptic patients across the three northern regions most of who are in need of urgent care and attention.

Mr. Dokurugu Adam Yahaya, Projects Coordinator of Basic Needs Ghana, was addressing staff of the Northern Regional Coordinating Council in a day’s sensitization to create more awareness on issues affecting mental patients to reduce public stigmatization against them.

He expressed worry that there was no psychiatric doctor in the entire three regions creating financial difficulties for patients and their caretakers.

“The bulk of the work has therefore been left to the care of community psychiatric nurses and those patients with critical conditions are always sent to Ankafu, Pantang and Accra psychiatric hospitals”, he said.

Mr. Yahaya said the country has not more than eleven psychiatric doctors making treatment of mental illness cumbersome.

He said mental illness was among the top ten killers in the world but given least attention in most countries including Ghana. GNA

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