Dr Akwasi Osei
Mental health treatment is at the verge of collapse in the Wa West District of the Upper West Region as health facilities in the district are currently operating without medicine and other logistics needed for persons suffering from mental health illnesses.
Both new and old mental health patients as well as their caretakers are enduring the pain of living with the condition due to the ‘no drug’ situation that has hit the area in the last couple of months.
The Wa West District Mental Health Officer, Suonyir Moses Deri, disclosed this at a stakeholder meeting at Tanina in the district.
He expressed fears that if the situation is not reversed immediately, future medical interventions will not yield the desired impact as majority of the mental health patients who hitherto were put on medications are already suffering from relapse.
“It is worrying to talk about the predicaments of mental health patients in this district. There are no drugs in the various health facilities, including the district hospital. Even those who have money cannot get the drugs in the open market,” he lamented.
Mr Deri revealed that majority of the over 600 mental health cases diagnosed in the district are people suffering from epilepsy, while others are as a result of substance abuse, depression and other related causes.
He appealed to government to include mental health patients in the beneficiaries of the two percent Disability Common Fund of metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies.
Amamata Seidu, a mother of a mental health patient in an interview with Citi News, expressed concern about the life of her 16-year-old son.
“My son was getting better when we put him on the medication. But as we speak, he is on the street because for almost three months now we can’t get the drugs even to buy,” she revealed.
The stakeholders’ meeting was organised by Tiborotaa Mental Health Association. It brought together chiefs and other opinion leaders, health practitioners, mental health officers, caretakers of mental health patients and the media with funding from DANIDA and USAID.
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