The care-givers said enough drugs and strict adherence in taking them facilitates the speedy treatment, healing and recovery process of mental health patients.

But, the care-givers said because of high cost of the prescribed drugs majority of them could not afford it for the patients as required.

They observed that the situation had slowed down treatment of the patients and appealed to the government to intervene to ensure that drugs for mental health patients are covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme.

The care-givers raised the concerns in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), at the weekend at Amasu, in the Dormaa Municipality, Wamfie in Dormaa East, Nkrankwanta in Dormaa West, Anyima in Kintampo South, Tuobodom in Techiman North and Nsoatre in Sunyani West Districts.

Officials of Mission of Hope Society, (MIHOSO), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), undertook a monitoring exercise as part of a five-year project.

The project scheduled to end in 2018 is being financially supported by the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom through Basic Needs Ghana, also an NGO.

Mr Ismaela Abdulai Baah, a care-giver at Amasu said beside the cost of the drugs, feeding was another challenge as some of the patients eat a lot after taking in their medication.

Another care-giver, Pastor Kwadwo Ansu, the Founder of the Holy Ghost Church and Prayer camp, a rehabilitation centre at Wamfie, appealed for support for the upkeep of the about 23 inmates at the camp.

He commended MIHOSO and its partners for the continuous assistance, and implored other NGOs for support.

At Nsoatre, Madam Rebecca Kyeremaa, a 65 yea-r old care-giver expressed concern about the stigmatisation of especially epileptic patients.

She expressed sadness about the stigma that had forced many parents in the area to hide their epileptic children, instead of supporting them to go for medication.

Dr Gabriel Gbiel Benarkuu, the Chief Executive Officer of MIHOSO, called for the passage of a Legislative Instrument (LI) to give meaning to the Mental Health Act.

He observed that the Mental Health Act, Act 846, 2012 would remain weak until a LI is passed towards its effective implementation.

Source: GNA/News Ghana

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