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The Director of Pantang Hospital, Dr Frank Baning has made a passionate appeal to institutions and individuals to assist mental health advocacy in the country.
According to him, the psychiatric wings in the various teaching hospitals in the country are doing well but the policies that need to be implemented to ensure smooth operations in the mental institutions are not done.
Addressing the media to show appreciation to the Johnwick Nathan Foundation for providing funds to renovate the general medical patient ward that leaks whenever it rains, Dr Baning again mentioned that the mental health sector faces many challenges.
He explained that the mental health sector is challenged with medication, psychological and social issues; thus, the mental health medicines are expensive, creating a deficit where sometimes they may have no medicine for the entire year.
He added that the government does not hire a lot of people to take the psychological aspect of the mental health treatment in terms of counselling and also the area of social care where it does not exist as there are no rehabilitation and social interventions that are targeted towards people who suffer from mental disorders.
“Housing is absent, and steppings are also absent, skills acquisition among that category and even putting policies in place that protect them are absent. We need a lot of advocacy for mental health in Ghana so that the policies will be right but not even the policies but the implementation because there are a lot of policies but the implementation is the main problem”, Dr Baning posited.
Commenting on the renovation project at the Pantang Hospital, the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Harbor Health Integrated Care, Johnwick Nathan, has indicated that investing in the renovation of the Pantang Hospital in the Ga East Municipality, is his priority.
According to the 27-year-old American entrepreneur, adding his quota to the face-lift of the health facility is part of his agenda to meet the needs of mental healthcare in the country as it has been neglected for many years.
Tackling the issue of maintenance culture in the country, Johnwick Nathan indicated that the maintenance of the project he is embarking on at Pantang Hospital is captured in the contract with the contractor to ensure the facility he is renovating is in good shape for a long time.
“As I discussed with my contractor, and part of creating the contract, what we have decided is that, we are going to have a warranty. Maintenance becomes paramount when there is a warranty involved…it can sometimes cost more but that is the cost we want to pay for the sake of longevity”, he indicated.
“The renovation project of the block is no cost to the government or the hospital. As part of the initiation, it is simply awareness of the mental health in the country; there are a lot of things that need to be promoted and it is not just talking about it but also take care of some of the primary needs as well of the mental health sector”, Johnwick Nathan noted.