Stakeholders have been urged to strengthen and provide timely and quality rehabilitation for survivors of torture and organised violence in the country.

To this end, there is going to be an intensification of education for survivors of torture and organised violence to know when, how, and where to seek for help.

Service providers have, therefore, been urged to be mindful of human rights when providing services to survivors of torture and violence.

Speaking at a meeting held by BasicNeeds–Ghana in Accra, Mr Humphrey Kofie, the Executive Secretary of Mental Health Society of Ghana (MEHSOG), noted that issues about torture were critical and required a more comprehensive advocacy plan to address as well as the resultant trauma.

The meeting formed part of the project dubbed: “Strengthening access to timely and quality rehabilitation for Survivors of Torture and Organized Violence (TOV) in Ghana,” which started in September 2018 and would end in December 2020.

It aims at strengthening knowledge, skills, competence and attitudes of formal and informal service providers in the rehabilitation of survivors of TOV in four districts of Ghana, funded by Dignity Institute Against Torture based in Denmark.

The project in being implemented in the Tamale Metropolis and Zabzugu District in the Northern Region and Ga West and Ledzokuku-Krowor municipalities in the Greater Accra Region.

Over 350 trauma-affected people from the four districts are expected to benefit.

Approximately about 3,500 community members of the implementation area would be targeted.

Mr Kofie noted that it was time people were educated to change their attitudes in the treatment of human beings when it came to issues of trauma and violence.

He said the MEHSOG and BasicNeeds-Ghana developed a comprehensive advocacy plan tailored at ensuring a change when it came to dealing with human rights issues.

He said currently human rights issues could not be relegated to the background when service providers were performing their role.

Mr Kofie said the Mental Health Society of Ghana was also providing training to service providers to identity victims of torture and trauma and refer them to the necessary facilities for help.

Mr Hannan Legend, the Project Officer, BasicNeeds-Ghana, said activities of trauma of migrants, domestic violence in relation to marriage, as well as activities of institutions who tortured people in terms of eliciting information from suspects would be looked at.

He said stakeholders’ attention would be drawn to issues of human right abuses in prayer camps noting that there had been some instances where people who sought spiritual healing were subjected to torture and trauma.

Nana Kwadwo Obiri, the General Secretary of the Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicines Practitioners Association, said the Association had set up a tax force to fish out practitioners offering services outside the mandate of the Association and the Food and Drugs Authority to be dealt with.

He said the Association was ready to partner BasicNeeds and other stakeholders to ensure that survivors of torture and violence got the needed support and their rights protected.

The meeting brought together officials from the Ghana Health Service, Department of Social Welfare, Ghana Prison Service, Peer Educators, Community Volunteers, and faith-based organisations among others.

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