Health News of Thursday, 15 May 2014

Source: GNA

About 20% of people in Sunyani have mental disorders

At least 20 percent of people in the Sunyani Municipality have mental disorders, Mrs. Sarah Adams, Head of the Psychiatric Unit of the Sunyani Municipal Hospital, said on Tuesday.

She said the situation was alarming and that the Unit recorded many cases of mental ills in the municipality in 2013 with depression among women recording the highest, chronic headache, drug addiction and epilepsy in that order.

Mrs. Adams told the GNA in an interview that the Unit had limited drugs and appealed to the government to provide more as cases continued to increase.

She spoke to the GNA after Mission of Hope Society (MIHOSO), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), organized a seminar for 45 recovered mental health patients in the municipality.

The seminar was aimed at bringing the participants together and empowering them to form an association and engage in skill training.

Mrs. Adams expressed regret that marital problems were rife and that most of the cases the Unit attended to in 2013 were traced to marital problems.

She said though strict adherence to drugs could cure mental illness, drugs such as Largactil, serenace, Artame, tryptizol, phenobarbitone, epanutin, carbamazepine and others were always not enough.

Mr. Gabriel Benarkuu, Chief Executive Officer of MIHOSO, explained that the NGO which works to promote quality healthcare delivery in the Region with support from Basic Needs Ghana, an NGO, was implementing a mental health development project in 10 municipal and district assemblies in the region.

Under the project, MIHOSO supports mental health clinics to undertake special psychiatric outreach services, helping detect people with mental illness and put on drugs as well as supporting and strengthening recovered patients to be well re-integrated in society.

Mr Benarkuu said the NGO had trained and empowered 158 recovered patients who had formed self-help groups in various employable skills to enable them become self reliant.

He appealed to parents not to hide their children with mental illness in homes but assist them to seek medication as administration of drugs were free of charge.

Mrs Agnes Mintah, one of the participants, appealed to the government to allow people with mental ills to register under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) free of charge.

She said patients were not able to pay the GHC15 premium.