Mental health units across the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions have taken delivery of psychotropic drugs worth $4 million from Breast Care International through non-governmental organization Basic Needs Ghana for supply to mental health patients.
Speaking at a media briefing to hand over the medicines to beneficiary health directorates in Tamale, the Programmes Manager for Basic Needs Ghana, Adam Dokurugu Yahaya, appealed to the facilities not to sell the drugs to the mental health patients because persons with mental health are the poorest in society.
“These medicines are worth over $4 million and what we require of you is for you to keep accurate records of how you distribute the medicines and report to us so that we can also report to Breast Care International for onward submission for direct reliefs [from] the donors.”
Mr. Yahaya added that mental health has been experiencing inadequate supply of medications and the situation has become very dire, affecting mental health patients in the country in getting better treatment for their conditions.
“As a development NGO who have been exploring ways by which we can support mental health patients, we will embark on spot checks to ascertain how the medicines are distributed to the patients,” he added.
A psychiatric nurse at the Tamale Central Hospital, Gertrude Delali Kpesese, who received the items on behalf of her facility, applauded the donors and Basic Needs Ghana for the gesture and added it will help the unit, which has been having issues with medication.
“We have been having issues with medication. Patients come and we don’t have medication for them and even when we prescribe for them to buy, they don’t have the money,” she lamented.
She appealed to government and other NGOs to support mental health patients with drugs.
The medicines included 362 boxes of Respiredone 0.25mlg, 0.5mlg, 1,2,3,4mlg, 40 boxes of Olanzapine-Fluoxetine Hydrochloride 25-12mlg, 40 boxes of Benztropine Mesylate 0.5mlg and 20 boxes of Citalopram Hydrobromide 10mlg.