The deputy director for Clinical Services at the Northern Regional Health Directorate, Dr Braimah Baba Abubakari has called on government to assist the region with the construction of a psychiatric hospital.
This, he says, will ease the pressure and inconvenience patients go through when they are transferred to the southern sector for treatment since there is no psychiatric hospital in the region.
Dr. Abubakari said health workers find it difficult to institutionalize patients for long term treatment, adding that they have to transfer patients to national hospitals for treatment which he said is sometimes discouraging because relatives do not like the ever present difficulties in transporting their patients
Mental health care in Ghana, Dr. Abubakari added, does not only cater for the mentally ill but people with epilepsy, depression, substance abuse among others, hence the need for the construction of a unit in the region.
In an interview with Zaa News, Dr Abubakar lamented the absence of a resident psychiatrist which compel mental health nurses to double as psychiatrists denying patients the care of a professional. He said the mental health law is not by choice but by law and every citizen has a right.
He indicated that every country is measured by the quality of health service offered its people, taking into consideration child and infant mortality, maternal mortality as well as mental health hence the need to improve every aspect of the health sector.
He advocated for the involvement of faith-based healers in the treatment process of mentally ill patients. He also called for the need to get the youth to stay away from activities that will eventually lead them to rehabilitation centers.
Ghana has only three psychiatric hospitals all located in the southern part of the country, leaving the entire northern sector to its fate. So the question is, how long should the region wait for a psychiatric hospital?
BY: LILIAN D, WALTER