Durbar on Sexual Reproductive Rights of persons with mental health conditions held

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mental health problems
mental health problems

Residents of Ledzokuku and surrounding communities have been schooled on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) of Persons with mental health conditions.

The durbar, held at Laskala market Teshie, was meant to raise awareness and equip the people with adequate knowledge on issues bothering on access to information on SRHR for people with mental health disorders.

It also bothered on family planning methods, sexually transmitted infection prevention methods and how people could demand their rights at various health facilities.

The Health Session was put together by the Mental Health Society of Ghana (MEHSOG), BasicNeeds, and supported by NORSAAC and CPRI.

Market Women, Traditional Birth Attendants, Health workers, Traditional Rulers, opinion leaders, the Police, Assembly Members, Mental health Service Users and Caregivers, Taxi Drivers among others attended the programme.

Addressing the durbar, Dr Jacqueline Sfarijlani, the Ledzokuku Municipal Director of Ghana Health Service, stated that it was important to ensure everyone, particularly people with mental health disorders took good care of their reproductive health.

She observed that challenges faced by Persons with mental health problems were not necessarily part of having a disability but often reflected a lack of social attention, legal protection, understanding, and support.

“That said, one can say that persons with mental health problems often cannot obtain even the most basic information about SRHR,” she said.

“Thus, they remain ignorant of basic facts about themselves, their bodies and their rights to define what they do and do not want.”

She said SRHR services were not often accessible to persons with mental health problems for obvious reasons, including physical barriers, lack of mental health clinical services, stigma and discrimination.

She said it was important to ensure that human rights dimensions were systematically integrated into the provision of contraceptive information and services.

Mr Edward Opoku, Assistant Director of Health at the Assembly, was full of praise for the Mental Advocacy organizations for putting together such an all-important programme.

He encouraged participants, particularly Persons with Disability to try as much as possible to get closer to the Assembly to access certain benefits such as the Disability Common Fund.

Mr Humphrey Koffie, Executive Secretary of MEHSOG, said SRHR for mental health project was meant to contribute towards addressing the unmet sexual and reproductive health needs of vulnerable adults and adolescents through awareness creation, established contacts with service providers for inclusive SRHR service delivery and public sensitization of the sexual and reproductive rights of persons with mental health problems.

He indicated that it was important for every individual to have access to services related to reproductive health.

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