A mental health nurse who tested positive for coronavirus pandemic and currently at an isolation centre has painted quite a disturbing picture of the emotional torture some of the patients are going through.
Compounded by the prevailing stigmatization in society, Seyram Avotri said some of the recovered patients are even faced with the hard choice of going back home.
Seyram is a mental health nurse at the Accra Psychiatric Hospital undergoing treatment for COVID-19 at the Pentecost Convention Centre at Gomoa Fetteh in the Central region.
In a rare interview with Alfred Ocansey on TV3’s News360 Thursday, May 14, 2020, Seyram who braved the odd to reveal his identity on TV said the major concern of persons he had interacted with at the Centre has to do with stigmatization back home.
“Some who have tested negative for the second time and have been discharged are even worried about the stigma they are going to face in society,” he noted.
He said many disgruntled patients have expressed disappointment in the way and manner authorities stormed their homes and offices to pick them up to the isolation centres.
One was even picked up while returning from the farm, he recounted. Most of them, he said, told him they were not even allowed to have further engagement with family members before being ushered straight into waiting ambulance.
Amidst blaring of siren, the presence of ambulance and how health workers are dressed when they appear to pick persons who tested positive worsen the stigma they encounter withing their respective communities, he said.
According to Seyram, most of the patients would prefer a more humane way of taking patients from their homes to assuage fears that the disease is a death warrant.
Positive for two months
Seyram recounted vividly what a patient he met days ago at the isolation centre told him about being threatened with arrest if he failed to present himself for isolation.
According to the man, he said, the COVID-19 team called him two months later, after he had tested positive to be isolated.
The asymptomatic patient, Seyram said, was told that if he doesn’t surrender, the police and military will be used to fish him out.
Tough he initially resisted, questioning why it has taken them months to take that decision to isolate him, he showed up and allowed himself to be taken through the recovery process.
Seyram Avotri noted that more and more patients are brought to the centre on daily basis and feared the health personnel there could be overwhelmed soon if care is not taken.
The mental health nurse is also calling for intensive education to sensitize the public to stay safe and also not stigmatize persons infected with the virus.
By Isaac Essel | 3news.com