Mr Owusu Asante, Technical Officer, Community Health at the Sunyani Municipal Directorate of the Ghana Health Service, has appealed to the public to control their appetite for bush meat to guard against contracting the Ebola virus.
He said this at a public forum on mental health at Odumase, in the Sunyani West District organized by the Brong-Ahafo Network of Non-Governmental Organisations (BANGO).
It was attended by assembly members, queen mothers, civil society organizations and representatives from the Ghana Health Service, Municipal and District Assemblies and the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit of the police.
Mr Asante said bush meat was nutritious, common and affordable, especially in the Brong-Ahafo Region but consumers ought to stop taking it for a while.
Mr Peter Kuugyire, BANGO Project Cordinator , said with funding from Star- Ghana, the network was implementing a two-year project dubbed “advocating for mainstreaming mental health services in communities in the Brong-Ahafo Region”.
He expressed concern about lack of psychiatric facilities and inadequate drugs for mental health in various public health care facilities.
Mr Kuugyire was optimistic that the project would help facilitate access to psychiatric facilities, counseling, diagnosis, treatment and care for mental health would be readily available in the 27 districts and Municipalities in the region.
Mr Godfred Ampaabeng, a Mental Health Nurse at the Sunyani Municipal Health Directorate, said it was not true that mental illness was linked to witchcraft or curse.
He explained that though it could be genetic, regular medication could help cure some mental illnesses and appealed to parents who hide or lock up their children with mental disorders to help them to access medication.
Mr Ampaabeng said drug abuse and depression were the major causes of mental problems in the Sunyani Municipality and condemned stigmatization of patients.