BasicNeeds-Ghana, in collaboration with the mental health staff of the Ledzokuku-Krowor Municipal (LEKMA) Hospital held a durbar to sensitise the Chiefs and people of the Ga-Dangme Traditional Area. The durbar, funded by UK aid, was held on November 21, 2017 and was graced by the the Wulomors of the Ga-Dangme Traditional Area as well as their Mankralo and other eminent chiefs and elders of the community.
Bolgatanga, the Upper East Regional capital, was recently made home to the third BasicNeeds-Ghana field office. This was in recognition of the scale of ongoing interventions in the region. Prior to openning a field office in Upper East Region, BasicNeeds-Ghana worked through partners - PRIDE-Ghana and the Zuure Organic Vegetable Farmers’ Association (ZOVFA).
The CEO of the Mental Health Authority- Ghana, Dr Akwasi Osei, has said that the biggest problems bedevilling the mental health sector in Ghana are inadequate resources, over institutionalisation, over-medicalisation and over centralisation of mental health services. He said this on the GBC in-studio talk show, ‘Talking Point’ to mark the 2017 world mental health day.
Respect for rights of vulnerable people is an important consideration within the development space. This is because abuse of the rights of any individual is an affront to the whole of society. It is, therefore, incumbent on everyone to respect the rights of others and demand others do same. When society fails to protect the human rights of its members, especially the most vulnerable, it fails in its mandate to protect and harness the full potential of all its members for society's development and the development of its members.
The Regent of Dabgon, Kampakuya Naa Andani Yakubu Abdulai, has declared his special support for people with mental illness and epilepsy and called for improved efforts by all stakeholders to ensure that their rights are respected. He made these pronouncements at his Palace in Yendi when a team of mental health advocates led by BasicNeeds-Ghana visited him to pay courtesies and thank him for his patronage of a durbar organised by BasicNeeds-Ghana and funded by UK aid for the Chiefs and People of the Dagbon Traditional Area on September 12, 2017.
BasicNeeds-Ghana, on September 6 and 7, 2017 met with managers of prayer camps in the Eastern Region as part of a UK aid funded project titled “Support Mental Health Services in Ghana”. These engagements, which took place in Koforidua and Nkawkaw, respectively, were meant to promote collaboration between non-formal mental health service providers and counterparts in the formal sector, especially in areas where non-formal health providers were the predominant mental health service providers.
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"
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.