Intermittent drug shortages deteriorating mental health patients in Nkoranza North

The intermittent shortages of drugs are worsening the mental health conditions of patients in the Nkoranza North District of the Bono East Region, Mr Stephen Awiti, the District Mental Health Coordinator has said.  

Describing the situation as disturbing, he appealed to the government to ensure that drugs were always available to facilitate the healing processes of persons with various mental health illnesses in the area.  

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Busunya, the District capital, Mr Awiti expressed worry about the increasing cases of mental health illness in the area, and attributed some of the causes partly to alcoholism, substance abuse and marital problems.  

He explained due to the shortage and unavailability of drugs, only about 600 patients out of the more than 2,000 persons with various mental health conditions in the district were currently put on medication, and bemoaned the condition of those on drugs were even deteriorating.  

Mr Awiti said the cases were common among people aged between 16 and 65 years and mentioned epilepsy, depression, schizophrenia and bipolar as some of the common cases of mental disorders in the district.  

Epilepsy, he added, was quite common among people between 15 and 40 years.  

In a related development, MIHOSO International Foundation, a human rights and health centred non-profit organisation has offered employable skill training to 150 persons with mental disorders in four districts and municipalities in the region.  

About 40 per cent of the beneficiaries were women and they were selected from four communities in Nkoranza South and Kintampo North Municipalities as well as Nkoranza North and Kintampo South Districts.  

The organisation provided seed capital and they are currently engaged in soap making, livestock production, farming, and petty trading to improve their livelihoods.  

In an interview with the GNA, Mr Thomas Benarkuu, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of MIHOSO in-charge of Operations said the beneficiaries were also taken through leadership training skills, financial and business management.  

He said many of them were doing well in their businesses and called on the District/Municipal Assemblies to support and provide decent jobs to many of the patients who had become a burden on their parents and relatives.  

Mr Benarkuu said the patients and their caregivers could afford to buy drugs only if they had something worth doing, indicating people with mental disorders ought to also benefit from the Disability Fund of the Assemblies to better their lives.  

He however, expressed appreciation to the four Assemblies for supporting some of the patients to access their drugs, and appealed to the Assemblies to continue and extend such assistance to others too.  

Source: GNA  

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.