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MHA asks educational institutions to include mental health in school curriculum

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Dr Caroline Amissah

The Mental Health Authority (MHA) has asked educational institutions to include mental health education in their curriculum.

That, it said would help provide support systems to prevent discrimination against individuals who may experience any form of mental health disorders.

Dr Caroline Amissah, Acting Chief Executive Officer, MHA, said this in a speech read for her at the commissioning of a Neurodiagnostic Centre at the Wisconsin University in Accra on Tuesday.

The Centre, which was set up with support from Purple Point Neurodiagnostic, USA, is expected to provide more scientific means, diagnosis and help monitor people with neurological conditions.

It is equipped with modern machines for testing the brain, to diagnose and treat neurodiagnostic conditions such as epilepsy, movement disorders, dementias, cognitive disorders, strokes and cerebrovascular diseases, headaches, sleep apnea, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, autism, and behavioral disorders among others.

Neurodiagnostic is the study and recording of electrical activity in the brain, the central nervous system, and the peripheral nervous system.

Dr Amissah said proper diagnosis of neurological conditions gave way to ensure targeted treatment, holistic management and provide adequate and committed care for persons with mental illness.

The new Centre consists of a changing room, test rooms, waste disposal area and seeks to train more neurological technologists and provide facilities for conducting other tests.

Citing epilepsy as a typical neurological condition, Dr Amissah said Ghana in 2022 recorded a total of 18,506 cases with the Ashanti Region recording the highest of 2,670 (14.43per cent) out of the national figure.
Dr Amissah said the figures may be under reported because, many cases went unreported.

Dr Charles Acheampong, Director, Centre for Professional Studies, Wisconsin International University College, Ghana, said the Centre was set up because the neurodiagnostic field was starved in terms of personnel and equipment.

Dr. Acheampong said there were less than 10 neuro diagnostic testing laboratories in Ghana and that sometimes patients who had to do the test ought to wait for two weeks or more to get access to a testing laboratory.
He said gradually the University was moving out of the traditional university setting into a modern institution that would be responding to the different needs of a modern society.

Mr Lucien Kilonda, Chief Executive Officer of Purple Point Neurodiagnostic, USA, said his team assisted Ghana because “Ghana holds the blue print for healthcare development in sub Saharan Africa”.

Mr Kilonda pledged to continue to collaborate with the University in the provision of good health care services to the public.

Professor Obeng Mireku, Vice Chancellor of the University, urged the public to take advantage of the Centre and patronise the services.

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