The panel of judges scored UGSMD 75.3 per cent to beat other competing universities, which were University of Cape Coast School of Medical Sciences (UCCSMS), which came second with 72.4%, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology School of Medical Sciences, which was third with 69.2% and University for Development Studies School of Medicine and Health Sciences (UDS-SMHS), which took the last position with 67.4%.
This year’s debate, the fifth in the series of the annual event and hosted by UDS-SMHS in Tamale on Thursday, was on the theme: “Developing a Creative Model for Community Mental Health Care that is Mindful of Traditions and Beliefs”.
It was organized by Dr Vincent Agyapong, a Specialist Psychiatrist based in Canada, and Dr Mohammed Soori, Senior Lecturer at UDS-SMHS and Consultant Psychiatrist at Tamale Teaching Hospital with sponsorship from BasicNeeds-Ghana, a mental health and advocacy organization.
The UGSMD was represented by Ms Irene Afua Appiah and Mr Clifford Lartey Cofie, both level 400 medical students, who developed a model relying on the Community based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compound concept to provide support for mental health patients in the community whiles eliminating stigmatization.
For their prize, both students will undertake a two-month rotation at a psychiatry hospital in Dublin, Ireland including a trophy whiles the first runners up, UCCSMS, will receive 1,000 dollars, a trophy and undertake orientation at a medical school in the country (Ghana).
Ms Appiah expressed delight at winning the competition saying she and her co-debater would work to implement their model to bring relief to mental health patients in the country.
Dr Akwasi Osei, Chief Psychiatrist said there was a revolution in the field of psychiatry in the country as many students were becoming interested in the profession.
Dr Osei said the country was moving away from institutional care for mental patients to community care to ensure integration of patients into their communities and commended organizers of the debate and the debaters for the enthusiasm displayed.
Professor Francis Ofei, Dean of UCCSMS, who chaired the event, expressed the need for the country to focus more on mental health education to improve psychiatry in the country.