An EU Delegation, led by the European Union Special Representative on Human Rights - Mr Stavros Lambrinidis - visited the Dome Pillar 2 Self-Help Group (SHG) in Accra on July 5th, 2017. The visit formed part of activities planned by the EU Mission in Ghana when the Ambassador visited the country for official duties from 4th to 6th July, 2017. The Dome Pillar 2 SHG is one of the oldest and most active peer support groups of people with mental illness and epilepsy in the Greater Accra Region having been formed by BasicNeeds-Ghana in 2003.
BasicNeeds-Ghana organised a week long Psychiatrist outreach in the Upper East and Upper West Regions. The outreach was organised in collaboration with the Regional Health Directorates of the two regions between 19th and 23rd June, 2017. Psychiatric services during the outreach in the Upper West Region were facilitated by Dr Samuel Odonkor from the 37 Military Hospital and Mr David Dobara, Clinical Psychiatric Officer while Dr Sheila Pipim from Pantang Psychiatric Hospital facilitated outreach clinics in Upper East Region. In all, about 400 people with mental illness and epilepsy were attended to in ten (10) districts.
Ian B.L. walker, Corporate Citizenship Director of Johnson and Johnson Company Ltd., took some time off to visit BasicNeeds-Ghana and inspect some activities of the organisation when he visited Ghana on January 31, 2017. Johnson and Johnson Company Ltd is an American multinational company which has become a household brand in the manufacture of medical devices, pharmaceuticals and consumer items. The company recently funded a livelihoods enhancement project titled "BasicNeeds promoting gardening for improved mental health, food and income security"
Alhassan sits under a thatch covering, sheltered from the sweltering afternoon heat, deftly passing the shuttle back and forth through the warp. The Kente cloth is gold and white, representing royalty and festive occasions. An apprentice works quietly at an adjacent loom. To a passer-by, Alhassan appears to be a hard-working young man. And he is. Trained as an adolescent in weaving, Alhassan has used his skill to support himself all the way through post-secondary school training in nursing. Now, he has five apprentices, and is waiting for his nursing posting.
One moment he was weeding, the next he was bound by ropes. For the few days prior, Alhassan Mohammed had been experiencing symptoms of malaria, with a high fever. Then, he suddenly became violent, and was tied by his friends. They proceeded to bring him back to Tamale, where he was secured with shackles. His family, worried that either he would hurt someone or someone would hurt him, kept him restrained. He often consented to this treatment, seeing the reason in their action, but at times the situation caused him physical pain, and he asked, futilely, to be removed.
BasicNeeds Ghana was pleased to welcome Melissa Eaglesfield, a Director at Big Lottery Fund (BLF) on 1st October, 2016 in Accra. It was a great opportunity for her to meet the team and interact with the participants in our projects. The Pantang Horticultural Project set up by BasicNeeds was one of the first stops of her visit. This project was set up to promote therapeutic interventions for patients admitted to the Pantang Psychiatric Hospital. The farm manager briefed the team on the history of the farm and the crops grown, he also showed them around the vegetable plots. The service users indicated that they valued the opportunity of coming out of their wards to work in the fields and grow the food that is used in their meals. A number of users who have been discharged have now established their own vegetable gardens.
Health workers in the Upper West Region of Ghana are undergoing a comprehensive training which will equip them to screen pregnant women and mothers and their children for signs of mental distress. The training, which is sponsored by the Department for International Development (DFID) of the UK Government, is part of a maternal mental health project being implemented by BasicNeeds-Ghana. It started on the 25th July and come to an end on 29th July, 2016.