Second batch of cured mental patients repatriated

The Accra Psychiatric HospitalThe management of Accra Psychiatric Hospital on Wednesday repatriated the second batch of 30 cured mental patients out of the estimated 600 due for repatriation by the end of June.

They would be sent to their families at Odorkor, Mamprobi, Teshie, Russia Tabora, Taifa Post Office, Nima, Madina and Bubiashie all in the Greater Accra Region.

Dr Akwesi Osei, Chief Psychiatrist of Ghana Health Service, disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency during the departure of the patients in Accra.

He said stigmatisation associated with psychiatry could not be ignored because treatment of mental illness was supposed to be undertaken in the communities where they reside so that they could easily integrate after their treatment.

“When the right measures for treating mental patients are put in place then stigmatisation will be a thing of the past,” he said.

Dr Osei explained that when the Mental Health Bill is passed into law, it would enable all the regional hospitals to have a psychiatric facility where mental illness could be addressed.

He said management had arranged for regular check-ups by the community psychiatrics to monitor the exercise in their communities in addition to monthly reviews at the hospital.

Dr Osei said with the experience the authorities had with the first batch, he was hopeful there would be no problem with the second batch.

He said before they were sent home, community psychiatrics in communities were notified to locate and arrange with family members for their arrival in order not to take them by surprise.

Dr Osei said that the current population of the hospital was about 1,200 but the institution was built to accommodate 600 patients, saying by the end of the exercise the appropriate number would be maintained.

“The next batch of cured patients will go home in two weeks time,” Dr Osei, said.

Mrs Amina Bakari, National Coordinator for Community Psychiatry, said it was envisaged that 10 per cent of the cured patients would return to the hospital due to how they were treated by the family and community.

Most of them told the GNA that they were anxious to return home to meet their families because of the long stay in the hospital, while others were calm and unwillingly to talk.

The Rev James Mensah, Chaplain of the hospital, led them to sing praises and worship before leaving.

He advised them to read the word of God always and have faith in all their endeavours.

Rev Mensah appealed to religious organisations to support the management with Bible literature to help in the spread of the gospel.

Source: GNA

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