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Regional News of Monday, 29 March 2021

Source: Zambaga Rufai Saminu, Contributor

Psychotherapist rescuing mental patients in Takoradi dies

At least over 200 mental patients previously found loitering in Ghana's oil city of Takoradi, in Western Region, have been rescued through serious rehabilitation.

Unfortunately, the psychotherapist who carried out this Humanitarian service, Madam Abiba Fuseini, a native of Yendi in the Dagbon traditional area is no more.

The messiah, as many often described her, has joined her ancestors following an unannounced exit from the earth.

Her demise on 11th of March 2021, was announced with an indication that her burial and funeral arrangements had all taken place concurrently as prescribed by Islam.

Her untimely death, has occasioned many questions on sustainability of the social program engineered to save humanity.

The traditional woman, who had no formal education on Psychotherapy, nonetheless placed this herculean task on herself as the savior of many mental patients.

Her activities, primarily was to bring these mental patients gallivanting in the city of Takoradi back to life.

Speaking in an interview, Alhaji Saeed Jallo, an Islamic Cleric in Western Region, confirmed the sudden death of the virtuous woman who was simply described as an iconic figure on a mission.

Madam Abiba Fuseini, had indicated whilst alive, that her primary focus was to bring all mental patients back into society through the rescue mission.

Her activities, was to keep Sekondi Takoradi and for that matter Western Region out of the nauseating sight of mental patients who were often in unhygienic conditions clad in tatters clothes.

For Abiba Fuseini, psychotherapy, when applied judiciously, could assist the nation in getting rid of all mental patients hitherto loitering streets in the major towns and cities of the country.

"They are unprotected and society is not protected. This is because, they can be violent. They move around without any social safety network to protect them against stigmatization, victimization, and above all, treatment to recover from the ailment".

Joseph Dassah, Western Regional Manager of National Lottery Authority (NLA) , a regular donor at the mental patients home said he was heartbroken following the demise of Madam Abiba Fuseini.

He told journalists in an interview that he was one of the philanthropists supporting the benevolent project been carried out by the septuagenarian social worker whose humanitarian activities earned her several awards in Western Region.

"I have been one of the regular donors to the Mental Patients Rehabilitation Center here in Takoradi" he confirmed.

Explaining what motivated him to constantly support the center, he said he was touched when he first met Madam Abiba Fuseini and heard the story behind her activities as a local Psychotherapist trying to assist mental patients gain back their consciousness.

He said he had since been supporting the center with food items for them to address hunger issues in the home so that the founder could carry out her humanitarian activities.

"For the fourth time, I personally donated to the house to support in the fight against hunger as the mental patients go through counseling, treatment, rehabilitation and training"

One of the recovered mental patients, Bernard Appiah, now a pastor, had been recruited as Secretary to the Rehabilitation Center.

All his activities as the scribe of the home, have been described as phenomenal following the help his service had offered the center.

Speaking in an interview, he called on Ghanaians to embrace mental patients and stop the embarrassing stigmatization.

According to him, the activities hitherto been carried out by the enthusiastic Psychotherapist, had become the only instrument been used in fighting streetism, lunatism and mental deficiencies in Western Region.

Another patient who recovered from the mental home, Philomena Yamoah, 42, went back to her parents based at Mpohor in the Mpohor District of Western Region.

One of the patients, Emmanuel Kojo Dumelo, 41, who recovered from drug induced mental disorderliness, expressed profound gratitude to Abiba Fuseini for rescuing him from the streets.

He said his all time ambition, after Senior High School when he got excellent grades in all subjects, was to gain admission into University and upon completion, work with Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) but the ambition eluded him following the contraction of mental disorderliness.

Many of the patients, currently in the last stage of treatment, following their admission into the rehabilitation center, appeared to have gained all their consciousness, and could easily recall what transpired and how their dreams got shuttered by the unfortunate incident of the death of Madam Abiba Fuseini.

In Ghana currently, there are no special institutions established for management of mental defective patients, except psychiatric hospitals.

There are equally not available, any private rehabilitation center to take good care of mental patients loitering the streets and often causing troubles, and incurring the displeasure of communities and operators of commercial centers.

As a result, Madam Abiba Fuseini, who could only be described as a psychotherapist, had adopted the rescue mission as her responsibility to save mentally retarded people in Western Region from being condemned to history.

Consequently, she had supported those she could rescue from the streets with treatment, counseling and prayers, to help them recover from the mental diseases.

She had been doing this for many years and said, she would not rest until Takoradi, the oil city, in particular was sanitized.

While alive, she decried stigmatization against victims of mental disease.

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