Staff and patients of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital (APH) can now heave a sigh of relief as its Forensic Ward has been given a complete facelift.
The ward, which mainly admits patients referred from the law courts for assessment as well as some vagrants in society, had not had any major renovation since the establishment of the hospital in 1904.
The project, personally undertaken by former Minister of Defence and Board Chairman of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Dr Kwame Addo-Kufuor now has a secured and modernised dormitory, fitted with cubicles for patients’ comfort.
It also has among others, a designated nurses’ station, dining hall and a circulation room to specially attend to patients with extreme conditions.
At a brief handing over ceremony on Friday, Dr Addo-Kufour said the gesture was borne out of his love for humanity and the need to give back to society in commemoration of his birthday.
“The enormity of the challenges facing the hospital budgetary support, staff resources and management effectiveness cannot be over emphasised though this health institution serves as the premier psychiatric facility in Ghana,” he observed.
While recognising the support the hospital had received from successive governments and other benefactors over the years, the physician deplored the “miserable state” in which APH was and the need for its relocation “to a serene peri-urban environment.”
In his view, a place like Prampram, a suburb of Accra, could be considered for the relocation of the hospital which would not only improve the well-being of patients but provide training for psychiatrists and other specialties in the mental health field.
“Knowing the current COVID-19 economic situation, I should not make such a suggestion but a positive opportunity to support such a project is the prime land on which the hospital sits which is estimated around GH¢150 million.
This amount can go a long way to deliver a state-of-the-art hospital for psychiatric patients in Ghana and provide a facility for effective training of psychiatrists at the under graduate and post graduate levels,” Dr Addo-Kufuor noted.
Chief Executive Officer of the Mental Health Authority, Dr Akwasi Osei was highly elated over the gesture which he believed would redeem the hospitals ‘dented image’ in the public eye.
“This ward has given the hospital a bad image over the years because of the dehumanising state in which it was. If you in your normal state is admitted here, within a day or two, you will break down,” he indicated.
Dr Osei was confident the new structure would give patients comfort and “make them feel their rights are respected” as well as motivate staff to give off their best.
Medical Director of APH, Dr Pinaman Apau disclosed that the extent of work that needed to be done on the previous ward had discouraged people who had earlier shown interest in repairing it.
She thanked the former minister for keeping to his promise to the hospital and used the occasion to appeal for more bedsteads to accommodate patients.
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH