The HFFG/PsyKForum Project On Psychosocial Support for Health Workers and People With Mental Disability in Mitigating the Impact Of Covid-19

Hope for Future Generations (HFFG) and The PsyKForum have, in consortium, secured a project with the Ghana Somubi Dwumadie to provide psychosocial support for health workers and Persons with Mental Disability during this COVID-19 period. The Grantor of the project is Options Consultancy services.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) was first reported by the World Health Organization late December, 2019, and since then thousands and even millions of people have been infected, with high deaths recorded in many countries. Nations put in a lot of emergency measures to curtail the spread of the disease including risk communication, surveillance, contact tracing and providing targeted medical services. Some nations had to lock down to avoid further infections and to control the disease. With many unknown facts about transmission, except through droplets, many efforts focused on social and physical distancing.

Ghana recorded its first two cases of coronavirus on the 12th of March, 2020, and by 15th December, 2020, Ghana had recorded 53,270 cases. The results of a survey done in selected suburbs in Accra showed that many people do not wear face/nose masks correctly in public. With the way COVID-19 spreads, Government and the people of Ghana need to strengthen response and observe all the protocols needed to keep infections low or eradicate it.

Why the Focus on Persons with Disability and Health Workers?

People with Disabilities (PWDs) can be termed as vulnerable and are usually not able to access health information with the ease that others do. Some PWDs have mobility problems while others have hearing or visual impairments, hence are not able to take advantage of the availability of information with the ease that others do. Persons with Mental Disability are often not targeted for medical interventions to enable them access information and medical services with ease. COVID-19 produces its own stress factors which can worsen already existing mental stress and hence there is the need to focus on providing services to mitigate this effect.

Health workers are front liners for the fight against COVID-19. They support surveillance activities and provide medical care in various capacities at the various designated hospitals in the country. The fear of COVID-19, the anxiety of providing care for a COVID-19 patient and increased work load, have the possibility of triggering mental health issues.

The main objectives of the project are:

  • To establish an accessible and friendly psychosocial support for 500 health workers and their families on COVID-19 related work stress in the Greater Accra and Western regions.
  • To improve access to health care of people with disability in the greater Accra and Western regions in this COVID-19 era through sensitization of their needs among 500 health workers.
  • To reduce stigma and discrimination at health facilities towards people with COVID-19 in the Greater Accra and Western regions including people living with disability.

The project districts/sub districts include Klottey Korle, Ga East, Ayawaso West, and Ledzorkuku-Krowor in the Greater Accra Region; Sekondi-Takoradi and Ellembelle in the Western Region.

The selected hospitals are Greater Accra Regional Hospital, Police Hospital, University of Ghana Medical Centre, LEKMA Hospital and Ga East Municipal Hospital, all in the Greater Accra Region; and Effia Nkwanta Government Hospital and St Martins De Pores Hospital in the Western Region.

Hope for Future Generations is happy to partner with The PsyKForum and Ghana Somubi Dwumadie in delivering this needed intervention. It is hoped that through the Ghana Somubi Dwumadie support, help will go to helpers and Persons with Mental Disability will be supported to seek medical care and information.