Mentally Challenged Persons Gets Cured

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He was popularly known as Abaa, walking naked, dirty, smells badly and wore unkempt hair, mustache and beard which had formed into dreadlocks.

Abaa whose real name is Jamilu Abdullai, 42, was mentally challenged and been on the streets in Koforidua for the past 22 years.

He was often found roaming up and down the road between the traffic light near the Koforidua Regional Hospital (KRH) and the Regional headquarters of Vodafone in Koforidua and sleeps on the pavement behind the walls of the Vodafone yard.

The family members of Abdullai believed his mental situation was as a result of a curse on him by one elderly person some 22 years ago and after various attempts to cure him failed, they left him to his fate.

Under the Restoring Dignity Project of the Psychiatric Unit of the KRH, Abdullai was taken   to the Psychiatric Unit of the Hospital on December 14, last year, shaved, bathed, fed and given new clothes.

Abdullai was then taken through a medical check- up and provided all his medical needs.

Within five months, Abdullai learned how to eat with a spoon, changed his clothing when dirty, washed and dry them and how to respond to the call of nature at the appropriate places, take his bath regularly and could respond to instructions in Akan and Hausa.

Ms Akosua Serwah Bonsu, Head of the Psychiatric Unit of the Hospital, said the KRH provided funding for the medical bills and feeding of Abdullai while the Medical Doctors of the medical facility provided dresses, shoes and a bag to support the Project.

She said Abdullai was the second beneficiary of the Project.

Ms Bonsu said after the success story of the first beneficiary, the Medical Director of the KRH, Dr Kwame Anim Boateng insisted that the Project could not be meaningful if was not extended to Abdullai, who was often seen walking close to the KRH.

She said it was during the parting ceremony when Abdullai was reunited with members of his family through the help of the Department of Social Welfare that the family members revealed that, he is a proud owner of three storey buildings in Kumasi which he inherited from his late father.

The first Beneficiary of the Project was Nana Kwame, another mentally challenged person, whose permanent place of abode was a cave behind the New Juaben Omanhene?s Palace in Koforidua.

Nana Kwame, 30, a junior high school graduate, suffered from the challenges of a failed marriage between the father and mother and experienced neglect and abuse by some family members and for seven years was on the streets mentally challenged.

Nana Kwame was picked from the streets on October 19 last year and placed under the Project.

He had now recovered fully and opted to go and continue with his apprenticeship in plumbing works.

Ms Bonsu said to monitor Nana Kwame carefully, he was made to stay in the hospital for a month and on May this year he was reunited with the family to continue with the skill training.

She said the aim of the Project is to get two mentally challenged off the street for treatment and rehabilitation every six months.

Ms Bonsu said it cost GH?16.00 a day to take care of a mentally challenged person.

She said the Psychiatric Unit and the Management of the KRH is planning to formally launch the Project before the end of the year to help raise funds to get many mentally challenged persons off the streets of Koforidua and make them useful to the society.

Ms Bonsu appealed to religious organisations and individuals to either support the Project or sponsor individual patients for treatment.

Source: GNA

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