Two prayer camps in the Central Region have appealed to the Government to assist their camps with infrastructure and nurses in order to improve mental health care delivery to patients under their care.
The appeal was made when the Mental Health Authority Board visited the Edumfa Heavenly Ministry popularly known as Edumfa Prayer Camp in the Abura Asebu Kwamankese District and the Jesus Divine Temple at Kwedoegyir near Nyankomase in the Assin South District on Friday.
The visit by the board, led by its chairman, Prof. Joseph Bediako Asare and the Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Akwasi Osei, was part of a two day familiarization tour of the Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital and other mental health facilities in the region.
Dr. Osei assured them that the MHA was not going to sideline them and but will collaborate with them to administer mental health care to cater for the spiritual aspect of psychiatric healing to help bridge the vacuum for those whose beliefs were along religious lines.
He pointed out that Ghanaians were religious and therefore spiritual healing cannot be totally eliminated.
Dr. Osei, however cautioned them against unhealthy practices such as chaining and flogging patients adding that the mental health bill had some guidelines that had been put in place to ensure the safety of patients under their care.
Prof. Asare for his part, reiterated the need for prayer camps to collaborate with the psychiatric hospitals to ensure effective mental health care delivery assuring them that the authority was not in place to eliminate them.
At the Jesus Divine Temple, the founder of the camp, Prophet Leo Baidoo said he treats his patients free of charge and appealed for support for a building project to house the patients many of whom were chained.
The situation at the Edumfa Prayer Camp was far better as each patient, though chained wore padded socks on the leg to prevent bruises to the skin and slept on a student mattress in a private cubicle in well ventilated rooms.
The Prophetess in Charge, Mrs. Rebecca Nhyira Bedford re-echoed calls for assistance from the Government and philanthropists to construct buildings for the patients. GNA