On April 30 and May 1, BasicNeeds- Ghana distributed food and other
items worth GHS 50,000 to 110 (69 females) persons with mental health
conditions and their primary caregivers in six (6) districts of the Greater Accra Region. The items, which were donated by the Ghana Civil Society Platform on Sustainable Development Goals (CSO-SDG platform), are
meant to augment government’s efforts in the fight against COVID-19 by helping poor and vulnerable people with mental health conditions and their families to cope with the undesired effects of the government’s
response to the pandemic. The beneficiaries were members of Self-Help
Groups (SHGs) in the Accra area, the most hit city of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each beneficiary received a 12kg bag of rice, and a gallon of cooking oil. Some of the beneficiaries also received quantities vitamin C, toilet soap and packs of purified drinking water.
According to Beauty Emefa Nartey, Executive Secretary of the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition who presented the items on behalf of the CSO-SDG Platform, “this is phase one of the many interventions done by CSOs to
complement the government’s efforts to help the poor and vulnerable.”
Sunday Anaba, project officer at BasicNeeds-Ghana, explained to the beneficiaries that the reason for the intervention was to help them cope the restrictions imposed to stop the spread of the corona virus and mitigate
its impact. He thanked the Coalition of CSOs for the donation and expressed
the hope that their action would encourage other well-meaning individuals
and organisations to support poor persons with mental health conditions and other vulnerable groups during this crisis period.
Ibrahim Musah, the Community-Based Rehabilitation Advisor on the Ghana Somubi Dwumadie (Ghana Participation Programme), used the opportunity to remind the SHG members to continue to observe health and safety measures instituted by government and health authorities. He encouraged them to regularly wash their hands with soap under running water or use hand sanitizers as often as possible. He strongly recommended to them the need to practice social distancing and avoid physical touch with others while using face masks when they leave home.
He also appealed to the general public to stop stigmatizing against people infected by the corona virus disease and instead, support them with words of encouragement and to meet their basic needs. He likewise commended front-line health workers for their great service and sacrifices during these difficult times and appealed to the general public to take public health advisories seriously in order to flatten the curve of the spread of the pandemic.