In welcoming the CEO to Ghana during a briefing meeting held on his arrival, Peter Badimak Yaro, Executive Director of BasicNeeds-Ghana, expressed gratitude on behalf of staff and Board of Directors of BasicNeeds-Ghana to Adrian Sell for making time to visit Ghana. He was optimistic that the CEO’s visit would give him an appreciation of BasicNeeds-Ghana’s project implementation environment.
While in the country, Adrian Sell visited self-help groups in Gushegu and Tolon, where he sat in at the groups’ meeting. He used the opportunity to interact with the group members, finding out from the members their experiences as members of the group. Adrian also paid courtesies to the Chiefs of Gushegu and Gbrumani. The chiefs mentioned that as people who had been sensitised on mental health issues, they were doing their best to promote the rights of people with mental illness and epilepsy in their communities.
The CEO likewise visited and engaged with frontline staff of the Northern Regional Health Directorate of the Ghana Health Service. The Medical Superintendent of the Tamale Regional Hospital, Dr Mahamadu Mbiniwaya, acknowledged the support of BasicNeeds-Ghana in the continuous running of the hospital’s psychiatric unit. He also elaborated on steps he had taken to ensure that the psychiatric unit becomes integrated into the general hospital structure.
Adrian also visited and interacted with Afa Dawuda, a traditional healer. This traditional healer is among a group of non-formal mental health service providers who have been trained by BasicNeeds-Ghana to collaborate with formal mental health workers. Afa Dawuda explained to Adrian his method of diagnoses and treatment.
During a debrief meeting, Adrian expressed his appreciation to the BasicNeeds-Ghana team and indicated that he would carry with him positive memories of his visit. He mentioned that during his visit, he had come to appreciate the challenging environment of BasicNeeds-Ghana’s work. He added that “the grassroots is where the most important work is done” and BasicNeeds-Ghana would do well to continue such work.
Adrian mentioned that what really made an impression on him was his visit to the traditional healer who, through his practice, had created an environment where people with psychosocial needs felt welcome and taken care of. He further impressed on the team to continue building on the gains BasicNeeds-Ghana had achieved so far.