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"
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.