The Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG), has inaugurated a 43,000 euros psychiatric hospital in Bolgatanga, capital of the Upper East Region to provide mental health care for patients in the 15 municipalities and districts.
It is the first of its kind in the region.
The facility which has come as a saviour to the region would help curtail the inconvenience and financial burden families of mental health patients bore in transporting patients to the southern parts of the country to seek treatment.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony in Bolgatanga on Monday, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the PCG, Rt Rev. Prof. Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mante, explained that the facility was in response to government’s call to complement its effort in expanding health delivery services in the country.
He stated that the PCG has been the third major contributor to the development in health delivery, aside government and the Catholic Church.
“The dedication of this mental health facility is in line with the church’s readiness to support government expand and improve service deliveries in all parts of the country and this time mental health services,” the moderator stressed.
Rt Rev. Prof. Mante indicated that the county’s mental health policy made it clear that good mental health contributes positively to physical health, family life, education, social participation and economic development.
The moderator said the church had built over 59 health services registered under the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) in the 16 regions of the country.
He indicated that the PCG established the first mission healthcentre in the then Gold Coast, in 1885 at Aburi in the Eastern Region, stressing that, “since then the church has expanded to other countries including Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Nigeria”
“While establishing hospitals, the church saw the need to also deliver Primary Healthcare Services (PHC) in rural areas. In collaboration with government, the first PHC programme was started at Asante Akyem and later on extended to Dormaa, Bolgatanga, Bawku, Salaga, Afram Plains, Sandema, Tamale and Enchi,” he stressed.
The Moderator noted that the PCG has also contributed to education by providing over 2,500 basic schools, 34 senior high schools, five colleges of education, two private chartered universities.
It also includes several community based rehabilitation centres, seven agricultural stations, relief services, four vocational schools, five lay training centres and water projects.
He stated that the Upper East, North East and Upper West regions are hosts to the largest number of these social intervention programmes.
He added that the church would monitor the growth of the mental health facility in region.
The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Bolgatanga, Mr Rex Asanga, who represented the Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu lauded the efforts of the PCG for initiating considerable number of social intervention programmes and projects in the region which, he noted, had contributed significantly to improving the lives of the people in the area.
FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, BOLGATANGA