Health News Fri, 31 Oct 2014

Mental Health to be integrated into primary healthcare system

Mental Health is to be integrated into the primary healthcare system, given the sizeable percentage of Ghanaians prone to mental illness.

Dr. Joseph Oduro, Ashanti Regional Deputy Public Health Director, said this would allow for effective treatment of patients.

It is estimated by the Mental Health Society of Ghana (MEHSOG) that 30 per cent of the nation’s population have various forms of mental problems.

Dr. Oduro said the Ghana Health Service (GHS) was focusing efforts and resources on strengthening the operation of the mental health units of the district hospitals and health directorates.

They are being provided with adequate psychotropic drugs, health professionals and logistics to improve the quality of care to the people, particularly at the community level.

Addressing the opening session of a two-day conference on mental health and epilepsy in Kumasi, he said they have been collaborating with civil-society organizations, to educate the people on the causes and available treatment.

Close to 90 per cent of all cases of mental illness are said to be triggered by social causes - stress, poverty, marriage breakdown and accidents.

The meeting was jointly organized by MEHSOG, Basic Needs Ghana and Centre for the Development of People (CEDEP), on the theme: “Ensuring adequate provision of medicines to enhance recovery of service users in fulfillment of the mental health law”.

It brought together care-givers and community-based organizations, drawn from the Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Upper East and West, Central and Northern Regions.

The programme discussed the state of mental healthcare in the country, challenges impeding quality care delivery, and the successful implementation of the mental health law – Act 846.

Dr. Oduro advised the people to be wary of stress and other negative practices that could affect their mental health.

Source: GNA