Mental health durbar held in Yendi

BasicNeeds-Ghana has organized a durbar on mental health in the Yendi Municipality of the Northern Region, where the Regent of Dagbon, Kampakuya Naa Yakubu Abdulai Andani, joined the crusade to promote the human rights of mentally ill people.

The durbar sponsored by UKaid, brought together traditional rulers, youth and women groups in Dagbon, to chart a new path towards liberating mentally ill people from bondage.

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BasicNeeds-Ghana Board Chairman, Dr. Edward N. Gyader, called for an end to stigmatizing mentally ill people.

He implored traditional rulers to join forces with BasicNeeds-Ghana, to deconstruct socially constructed norms that cause disaffection to mentally ill people.

“Let’s stop violating the human rights of mentally ill people and accept their integration into the society.”

The Northern Regional Health Medical Coordinator, Mumuni Fuseini, educated the participants on the causes and effects of common mental disorders.

He said mentally ill people deserved total support from family and community members, and decried the absence of a Mental Health Hospital in the Northern Region where the canker is prevalent.

Mumuni Fuseini therefore underscored the need for government to build a Mental Health Hospital there. A public education officer from the Commission on Human rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), condemned the wanton chaining of mentally ill people without recourse to the legal framework.

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The CHRAJ investigator, Inusah Iddrisu, said mentally ill people especially children, have the right to inheritance.

Mumuni Fuseini condemned the abuse of drugs lately adopted by majority of the youth as a lifestyle. He decried the increase in pregnancy of mentally ill women in the region, and served notice that anybody caught in that immorality would not be spared.

He advocated constant collaboration between traditional rulers and the various district assemblies to promote the rights of mentally ill people in their localities.

Some of the participants underscored the need for parents, chiefs and the Clergy, to discipline youth who are promoting drug addiction.

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They further cautioned the youth against profane dressing which they said promotes sexual immorality.

They also reminded the various district assemblies of the need to release two percent of the Common Fund allocated for the upkeep of mentally ill people.

The Northern Regional Minister, Salifu Sa-eed, said government was committed to partner with relevant bodies to promote the welfare of mentally ill people.

He praised BasicNeeds-Ghana and its allies for the tremendous efforts made towards promoting the rights of mentally ill people.

Salifu Sa-eed admonished NGOs and the various assemblies, to closely monitor prayer camps where mentally ill people are camped to ensure that their rights are not violated.

He assured the mentally ill people that government will ensure the release of their share of the District Assemblies Common Fund for their upkeep.

Chairman of the occasion, chief of Kasuliyili, Alhaji Yakubu Andani, added his voice to calls on the various assemblies to promptly release funds meant for mentally ill people.

He emphasized the importance of sponsoring mentally ill children to acquire higher academic laurels. Kasulilana Yakubu Andani condemned the inhumane treatment of mentally ill people and called for attitudinal change.

By: Abdul Karim Naatogmah/

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