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Human Rights Advocacy Centre holds town hall meeting

Ashaiman,- The Human Rights Advocacy Centre (HRAC) in collaboration with the Ashaiman Municipal Health Directorate has held a Town Hall meeting to enhance dialogue and collaboration among duty-bearers and civil society towards improving COVID-19 related mental health service.

According to Ms Selasie Tsegah, the Acting Director of HRAC, it had implemented a 12- month programme titled, “Improving the mental wellbeing of persons with COVID-19 related mental experiences in the Ashaiman and Kpone Katamanso Municipalities in the Greater Accra Region.”

She said the programme, which was funded by UKAid with support from Ghana Somubi Dwumadie aimed at contributing to the reduction of COVID-19 related stigma and improve access to healthcare services by persons infected and affected by COVID-19.

She mentioned that prevention of COVID-19 stigma and provision of response services to address its related mental health impact on persons infected and affected was an enormous task which needed the collaboration of all stakeholders, state and non-state and cannot be relegated to the duty-bearers alone.

Highlighting some of the aims of the programme, Ms Tsegah said it sought to engage stakeholders and build their capacity on COVID-19 and its mental implications.

It also seeks to inform and train community support groups and community youth champions who would be sensitized to target communities on COVID-19 and provide psychosocial support to protect beneficiaries.

She said the project established a mobile clinic headed by a wellness coach which was providing mental wellness services to beneficiaries.

She revealed that as at April 14, 2021, the project had educated and sensitized over 6,000 direct beneficiaries on mental health implications of COVID-19; 125 persons received wellness services through one-on-one mobile community wellness services with 55 people referred to the mobile clinic for professional wellness support.

Dr Patience Ami Mamattah, Ashaiman Municipal Director of Health Service, said COVID-19 presented the individual, family, community and society with lots of challenges among which is mental health challenges.

She said the Ashaiman Municipal Health management constituted a case management team and included; mental health officers as well as clinical care staff who counselled and supported those affected by COVID-19.

She stressed the importance of stakeholders in the Ashaiman municipality to play their roles to ensure that together they made COVID-19 a disease of the past.

“We will keep on with this fight, we are not out of the woods yet, the work is still ongoing so we have to keep up with observance of the protocols and also keep on encouraging each other,” she said.

HRAC is a not-for-profit, independent, non-partisan, research and advocacy organisation set up to promote human rights in Ghana as well as provide pro-bono legal services through human rights clinic to the vulnerable and indigenous persons living in Ghana.

The Town Hall meeting comprised a cross section of key stakeholders in the Ashaiman municipality including; the Municipal Assembly, tribal heads, religious organisations, Ghana Education Service, and school children.

Others included, Department of Social Welfare and Community Development, Landlords Association, Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) and Persons With Disability group.

Source: Ghana News Agency