22.04.2020 Social News

COVID-19: MEMHREP Reaches Out To ‘The Neglected & Stigmatised’

By Emmanuel Nti Ampofo
COVID-19: MEMHREP Reaches Out To ‘The Neglected & Stigmatised’
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Mensah Mental Health Rehabilitation Project (MEMHREP) again remembered a person living with mental illness on the streets of Kumasi. The organization donated essential items to the Ministry of Gender and Child Protection to support persons with mental health problems on the streets of Kumasi.

These items included boxes of bottled water, provisions, toiletries, clothes, PPEs as well as 200 packs of hot meals, worth thousands of Ghana cedis.

Receiving the donation on Friday April 10, 2020, the Metro Director for Social Welfare from the Kumasi Metro, Esther Apraku thanked MEMHREP for their good thoughts and kind gesture. She, however, asked the team to assist her office in using the donated items to care for the target group.

She emphatically said that, unlike MEMHREP, social welfare in its own capacity cannot care support and provide personal and hygiene needs for persons with mental health problems, and such commended MEMHREP for their bold initiative.

“…Because it's not so easy to barber the mentally ill, undress the person, bathe the person, dress up the person…to become so unique,” Madam Apraku stated, adding that “if you don't have the skills, you cannot do it.”

Adding more, the KMA Boss, HON. Osei Assibey Antwi also expressed his heartfelt gratitude to MEMHREP, admitting that the task of the organization is a “difficult but unique one and urged all concerned to rise, rally and support their noble course if the need arises now and even in the future.

Meanwhile, he stressed on the need for the team to ensure the safety precautionary protocols in engaging with persons living with mental illness because everyone was at risk.

He acknowledged that though a lot of organizations are helping the KMA, MEMHREP is the only group seeking the wellbeing of persons neglected by family and society due to their mental health conditions.

In collaboration with Feed the Sick foundation, MEMHREP also fed about 100 mental health patients in the streets of Kasoa on Saturday, April 11, 2020.

Addressing the media, mental health advocate Dorcas Efe Mensah who volunteered to help the team, urged the government to assist MEMHREP to achieve its vision of ridding the streets of Ghana of persons with mental health problems.

She argued that as these people roam the streets freely amid the lockdown, they are likely to contract the deadly coronavirus disease, and help spread it if care is not taken.

“These are the ones who are going to infect us all with Covid-19 when the lockdown is lifted when we're back to our normal life,” she said.

“We are to not touch surfaces, our eyes, noses and faces. But how do you tell a person in this condition to not do same, especially when they're free to roam and do whatever they want,” she quizzed, adding:

She said that, MEMHREP is the only organization ready and well quipped to end the distress and plight of person living with mental illness. With the construction of their state of the art rehabilitation Centre, the organization has the vision of relocating them from the streets when it is completed and as such calls on the Government and other philanthropist to assist financially in putting up the structure.

The events were successfully executed by the selfless efforts of the organization's psychiatric nurses, doctors and advocates who volunteered their time to care for patients in the two communities who seem to have been left out in the nation's Covid-19 plans.

The Kumasi Mental Health Coordinator, Louisa Bompeh Asare, who happily assisted in executing the project, was disheartened and worried because persons living with mental illness on the streets were forgotten and abandoned and left to fend for themselves in this lockdown period. She became relieved when MEMHREP came knocking and requesting for her help in reaching out to such persons.

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