According to the WHO, only 2% of people in Ghana are receiving the mental health care that they need – the country faces a mental health treatment gap of 98%. Ghana’s doctor-patient ratio in the mental health sector stands at 1:1.7 million and nurse-patient ratio in mental health is 1:13,000. However, Ghana is one of the few African countries with a mental health policy as a result of the Mental Health Act of 2012. This more progressive policy advocates for community-based mental health care rather than institution-based care.
CHWI aspires to positively change the narrative of mental health from being a poor and neglected area into an attractive service, through capacity building, awareness creation and de-stigmatization of the disease. To that end, we are collaborating with Janssen to initiate and pilot a community health program in Ghana alongside the company’s donation of medicines to clinics that is filling a gap in mental health treatment for hundreds of patients.
The pilot community mental health program will focus on:
- Increasing the number of nurses in Mental Health – by providing support to train new nurses working with the Ghana College of Nurses & Midwives
- Building the capacity of current nurses in Mental Health – by providing specialized mental health and resiliency training
Other CHWI priorities in West Africa in 2020 include:
- Co-creating frontline health worker platforms in Ghana and Nigeria focused on strengthening community-based primary health systems in support of achieving Universal Health Coverage
- Scaling up the cross-sector Africa oncology program in Ghana and Nigeria in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson operating companies
Partners in West Africa include: