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Health News of Thursday, 17 June 2021

Source: GNA

Mental illness fuels rising cases of attempted suicide in Nkoranza

According to Mr. Osei, twenty-four cases were recorded in 2019 and 17 cases in 2018 According to Mr. Osei, twenty-four cases were recorded in 2019 and 17 cases in 2018

Mr George Kwame Osei, the Nkoranza South Municipal Coordinator of Mental Health, has expressed concern about rising cases of attempted suicides in the Municipality because of mental illnesses.

He told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview at Nkoranza, saying the Municipality recorded 13 cases of attempted suicide in 2020 and one of them succeeded.

Twenty-four cases were recorded in 2019 and 17 cases in 2018, he indicated, explaining many of the victims were people with mental disorders placed on drugs, but had defaulted due to lack of psychotropic medications.

He said cases of mental health disorders kept rising in the area, adding last year 335 new cases were recorded.

Mr Osei said his outfit was attending to more than 1,200 clients, but lamented “the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) does not cover most of the psychiatric medications”.

He said most of the patients could also not afford to buy, thereby worsening their health conditions, stating that 165 client’s defaulted medication due to lack of psychotropic medications prescribed for them.

About 538 others were also not covered by the NHIS at the Health Centre level, Mr. Osei stated.

“Just recently we recorded 11 perinatal mental illness and cases keep increasing”, he said, and mentioned depression due to marital problems, schizophrenia, alcoholism, bipolar disorders and epilepsy as some of the common cases in the Municipality.

Mr Osei regretted about high cost of psychiatric medication such as risperidone, olanzapine, carbamazepine and fluoxetine, making it difficult for clients to afford and therefore appealed to the government to subsidize the cost.

He said the Nkoranza Health Centre required motorbikes for mental health nurses to attend to emergency cases in remote communities, and appealed for support, and also pleaded with families to care for their relations with mental illness.

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