Ghana’s Korle Bu teaching hospital gets a psychiatric department.

May 18 , 2015 One of Ghana’s most popular teaching hospitals, Korle Bu has opened a new department solely for the treatment of psychiatric and psychological disorders. The new facility has two wards with a capacity of 12 beds for both males and females, and can admit patients for a maximum period of 10 days.

The Acting Chief Executive Officer of Mental Health Authority, Dr. Akwasi Osei, shared his belief that the psychiatric block at the nation’s premer hospital will help to further demystify the stigma associated with mental illnesses.

At the opening of the clinic he is quoted as saying “Patients with mental illness are currently living in obscurity due to stigma and rejection from families, friends and loved ones, although any average human being has a psychology or psychiatric disorder,”

According to him, mental illness is just like any other disease that affects part of the human system preventing it from functioning well, but most hospitals don’t have a unit to handle mental health.

Dr. Akwasi Osei said that for almost 60 years, the KBTH has had just an office for mental health, even though patients who accessed the facility had various psychiatric issues beyond their physical illness.

Dr Osei is quoted as saying “The stigma of mental illness will continue if patients are not allowed to be treated in general hospitals. Then all our efforts will be in vain,”. He added that the provision of the psychiatric department would give an opportunity to patients to be seen and heard, he added.

The Chief Executive Officer of KBTH, Dr. Gilbert Buckle, on his part, noted that patients often withheld real issues affecting their health due to intimidation by some health professionals, saying, “Besides their physical health, there is mental attached to what they present that they are unable to tell us.”

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