Mental health levy should be instituted to Improve healthcare-NGOs




MindFreedom Ghana, a non-governmental organisation ( NGO) with others has launched a joint NGO Shadow Report on mental health and human rights in Ghana with a call on government to institute mental health levy to resource the Mental Health Fund.

It also urged the Mental Health Authority ( MHA) to lead nationwide consultation on devising innovative strategies for domestic mobilisation of financial support to resource the Fund.

The Executive Secretary of MindFreedom Ghana Mr. Dan Taylor said the report was a review of the human rights situation of persons with mental health conditions in Ghana, with emphasis on progress made since the United Nations ( UN) 3Rd Cycle of the Universal Periodic Review ( UPR) and a contribution to the 4Th Cycle of the UPR process with funding support from the Open Society Africa.

The UPR is a unique process involving periodic review of the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States and since its first meeting was held in April 2008, all the States have been reviewed thrice within the first, second and
third cycle , he explained.

Mr. Dan Taylor noted that the joint NGO Shadow Report was am outcome of eight zonal in country consultations and dialogues held in Ghana by the NGOs and Civil Society Organisation ( CSOs) with representatives including persons with lived experience of mental health conditions.

According to the report Ghana’s Mental Health Act, 2021 was aimed at among others to monitor the practices and services of both formal and informal service providers, however, the lack of enforcement of the Act has made it difficult to monitor, probe and systematically report inhumane and degrading treatment of persons with mental health conditions.

The report recommended that the MHA established visiting committees and approved the list of nomination for membership to the committees.

Mr. Taylor said the organisation submitted the Joint NGO Shadow Report to the UN Human Rights Council on Thursday, July 14, 2022, to aid in the review of the country.

Professor Akwasi Osei, former Chief Executive Officer,.of the Mental Health Authority, who chaired the occasion said the report was not an attack on the country to help to improve mental healthcare and called on the government to implement the recommendations.

Ms Mercy Larbi, Deputy Commissioner, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice ( CHRAJ), in a speech read on behalf,.said in 2016, Ghana ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Act…..Story by Bugbila Moadow.

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