Authorities of the Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital say they would launch an immediate investigation into allegations of dumping of mentally sick persons from unknown locations to parts of the Central Region.
The investigation follows claim by Nana Kweku Appiah-Nti, Regent of Assin Breku, that homeless and mentally sick persons are being transported and dumped along communities on the Kumasi-Cape Coast trunk road.
“Many mad persons are carried in a car and abandoned some metres away from the towns at night hours.The act is too bad and we want the police and the hospitals to help us get those doing that,” he told the Ghana News Agency in an interview.
Nana Appiah-Nti said there are so many mad people than before, roaming the streets of Assin Breku and Dansami, and their identities cannot not be ascertained.
“Nobody knows where they are coming from, we only woke up one day to see several of them roaming everywhere begging for food,” Nana Appiah-Nti said.
A psychiatric nurse at Assin Foso, who pleaded anonymity, corroborated the chief’s claim and said people had reported many times that unidentified cars often carry some mad people and released them at night along the roads in Assin Foso.
“I have heard and observed it, sometime ago we found a young lady who was violent but we could not trace her family, it was later somebody told us she is from the Sefwi area.”
“Most of the people believe the patients dumped here come from the Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital while others suspect they are from the prayer camps,” the nurse added.
But the Medical Director of Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital, Dr Armah Arloo told the GNA that he was disturbed by the development.
He said patient dumping violated the country’s new mental health law and vowed to launch a full scale investigation into the allegation.
“I will find out from my social welfare officer, he is in charge of repatriation, we have to investigate this matter quickly. I am surprised, I have never heard of this since I started working at the hospital 10 years ago,” he said.
Dr Arloo said it is against the law and policy of the hospital to discharge patients onto the streets, adding: “Some patients have lived in the hospital for more than 15 years, some have died there and we buried them.”
He said like all other Ghanaians, the homeless and mentally sick persons have full rights and should not be subjected to inhumane treatment or be discriminated against, not even in public places or wherever they find themselves.
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