June 04, 2021
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Participants drawn from 7 disability organisations, including two mental health groups in Greater Accra and the Western regions have benefitted from an education session on the current issues on COVID-19 and the services available to persons with disabilities and how to access those services.
The session which was organised by Hope for Future Generations and the PsykForum took place at the Sunlodge Hotel Accra on 21st May 2021 and the Aya Community Centre, Ellembelle in the Western Region as part of a one year project titled Help for Helpers+ psychosocial support for health workers and persons with disabilities including mental health conditions under the Ghana Somubi Dwumadie.
The goal of the project is to provide psychosocial support to health workers and people with lived experiences of disabilities including mental health conditions in the Greater Accra and Western Regions during the COVID-19 outbreak in Ghana.
Participants were taken through COVID-19 education where issues on prevention, treatments and myths were discussed extensively. Participants were encouraged to support the campaign on vaccination exercises on-going in the country and ensure their members have information and take the vaccination.
The facilities and services available to persons with disabilities as stipulated in the Disability Act were also discussed and participants were encouraged to take advantage of such provisions made for them. While very grateful about the education on what the Law said, some of the participants lamented that they were yet to experience the reality of such provisions.
A stakeholder engagement was held with representatives from Social Welfare departments, Health Facilities and Municipal Health Directorates Participants shared their experiences in adhering to the COVID-19 protocols and challenges in accessing health care services. Participants shared some of their experiences with the stakeholders. A key feedback from the engagement was the fact that most of the participants and other persons with disabilities were missed during the distribution of relief items to vulnerable groups during the COVID partial lockdown. Some also suggest that persons with disabilities including mental health conditions should be given priority in the vaccination exercise. A participant praised Hope for Future Generations for ‘bringing persons with disabilities together to engage and discuss the impact of the pandemic on people with disabilities including mental health conditions and what needs to be done moving forward