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22.07.2005 Tabloid News

Mental Patients Raping Patients In Hospital

Public Agenda

They may have mental problems, but their crave for sex remains intact. This is the story of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, where some male patients occasionally rape their female counterparts.

The Principal Administrator of the Psychiatric Hospital, Mr M.K. Welber told Public Agenda that some of the male patients after abusing drugs become sexually aggressive and harass their female counterparts, including female staff of the hospital.

"Due to the height of the wall that separates the made ward from the female ward, the male patients sometimes scale over the wall to the female ward and forcefully have sex with them", Mr Welber lamented. He said sadly, some of the rape cases have resulted in pregnancy.

According to Mr Welber children delivered under such circumstances have been taken to some children's homes across the country for proper care. He said the hospital has recorded at least one case, where a nurse was raped while on duty. As a result most of the young nurses and doctors at the hospital are leaving because they do not want to be exposed to rape and beating by mental patients.

The administrator therefore appealed to the government to increase the risk allowances of nurses working in Psychiatric hospitals to motivate them. He cited an instance where a nurse, who is now responding to treatment, went into comma due to severe beating by an inmate. He said due to the vulnerability of female nurses they have been relieved of night duties and also from working at exclusive male wards for drug abusers.

The Principal Administrator said mental health care in Ghana suffers from the perceived ignorance of the public concerning mental illness, resulting in discrimination against people who undergo mental treatment. According to him, the hospital is presently under a lot of stress resulting from inadequate trained staff, lack of drugs, poor bedding facilities, lack of rehabilitation and lack of family care and support. He added that, most patients who recover are sent home only to return to the hospital because they are considered as outcasts.