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Evil spirits & the devil not the cause of mental illness-Resident Psychiatrist




The Resident Psychiatrist in the northern region, Dr. Ahmed Soori has underscore the need for people to desist from linking mental illness to evil spirits, the devil dwarfs or a curse of mental illness but rather see it as  a chemical changes in the brain 

According to him, in every society, one percent of the population is schizophrenic which means is a genetic factor. He outlined the signs and symptoms of schizophrenia as auditory hallucination, visual hallucination and Delusion.

However, Dr. Soori indicated that effective treatment requires a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary effort, including various forms of psychosocial care such as living skills, social skills training, rehabilitation and family therapy.

At an event to commemorate World Mental Day which falls on every 10th October, Dr Soori urged stakeholders in mental health to increase awareness creation on mental in the northern region. The world Health Organization (WHO) of United Nations declared 10th October each year to create awareness of mental health disorders and promote mental health.

Basic Need-Ghana, a mental health nongovernmental organization, the Regional Health Directorate of the Ghana Health service, Gub-katimali society and a Tamale base KESMI FM jointly organized event  in Tamale. The event is under the theme; Living with schizophrenia in northern Ghana-a concern for all’’.

BasicNeeds-Ghana as a non-governmental organization committed to the cause of people with mental disorders identifies people living with schizopheria in the communities and the country at large.

 Executive Director of BasicNeeds-Ghana, Badimark Peter Yaro says Schizophreia is one of the common mental disorders that were characterized by abnormal social behavior and failure to recognize what is real.

Common symptoms associated with the condition Mr Yaro explain includes; false beliefs, unclear or confused thought processes, auditory hallucination, reduced social engagements and emotional expression to general activities.

He said Schizophrenia has been a source of bewilderment to both health professional and ordinary people to the extent that people suffering are thought of to be possessed by demons and as a result people with schizophrenia are feared, tormented and locked away.

Mr. Yaro mentioned that, BasicNeed-Ghana has worked with and continues to work and support persons with schizophrenia and all other mental disorders.

A total of 26464 persons with disorders have been reached out to and 3188 persons with schizophrenia have been supported.

A total of 490 of them Basic-Needs said are engaged in productive activities .Occupying people with productive activities have proved to be a positive non-drug therapeutic intervention that enhances recovery, he added.

Mr. Yaro indicated that efforts made by the government towards mental health as well as schizophrenia are not enough, and mention that, the shortage of supply and availability of psychotropic medicines, especially at the district and sub-district facilities continue to persist and  the  non-drug therapeutic interventions in public facilities are virtually absent.

He used the opportunity to call on government to increase attention on providing resources for mental health for that matter schizophrenia and none state actors, including donors to give priority to mental health as it impacts on health and social wellbeing of every one. He also used the opportunity to welcome the Resident Psychiatrist in the region.

Speaking on behalf of the Northern Regional Minister, the District Chief Executive of Sanarigu district, Alhassan Mohammed Sorigudoo stated that mental health care in Ghana has been characterized by low prioritization in terms of personal and infrastructure for so long and that the only three psychiatric hospitals available in the country are located in the Southern part of Ghana ,rendering people with mental health problem from the northern part deprived of access to those facilities, which has greatly and negatively affected mental health service delivery in the north.

Hon. Sorigudoo also said despite the many problems that bedevil the mental health sector in Ghana, especially in the north, it is still possible for people with schizophrenia as well as all forms of mental illness to live and work successfully in their communities.

He therefore urged the public to show love and compassion to people with mental health illness in their various communities.

By;Lillian Walter 


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