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GHAMEC moves to protect rights &dignity of mental health patients

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


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