The Ghana Mental Health Coalition (GHAMEC) is to implement a project in the Accra Psychiatric Hospital meant to improve quality and human right standards in the facility as well as stop potential violations that could be meted out to mental health patients.
The Project, dubbed Quality Rights tool kit provides countries with practical information and tools for assessing and improving quality and human rights standards in mental health and social care facilities. The Toolkit is based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The Tool Kit according to GHAMEC is a procreate of the World Health Organization and aims to ensure that quality of care and human rights standards are put in place in mental health and social care facilities around the world.
In an interview with Public Agenda recently, Professor Oye Gureje of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Ibadan, Nigeria explained that, the quality right tool implementation activities is to be conducted in the Accra Psychiatric Hospital and the idea is to see to what extent “we can bring about improvement of the service that the patients receive including how their human rights and dignity are respected when they receive human treatment.”
Professor Gureje, who is the initiator of the Mental Health Leadership and Advocacy Programme (mhLAP), now referred to in Ghana as GHAMEC, said the Coalition wants to give the staff at the Accra Psychiatric Hospital the training that they require to improve the services they render to the patients.
“We want to use that as a way of demonstration to the government about what and how this can be done in other facilities in Ghana and how we can improve the services that the patients receive even within the constrains of human and material resources.”
He stated that they also want to identify the areas and the needs that those facilities have in terms of what government should be doing to improve the infrastructure and to give them more materials and tools to deliver the services that are needed, adding, “so we will improve services and identify areas for the action that can be fed into the government as recommendation as a way of making more impactful checks to those facilities.”
He lamented that in almost all the facilities, the services are often below standards not because the staff are not willing, but because there are short of staff or their training is not adequate, thus there are so many things that can be done just by improving the attitude of the staff in those facilities by simple information and simple education.
The Professor added that, “we will still require more infrastructural development in order to bring those services to the scale and to the level that exist in the more advanced countries. Even with what we have now, things can be done in a much better way.”
By Mohammed Suleman