A retired educationist Professor Stephen Adei has accused the National Democratic Congress (NDC) of using money reserved for mental health to buy votes in the 2016 general elections.
According to the former Rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), even though parliament had approved a budget for the mental health sector, the John Mahama-led government did not make any financial input into the sector.
Prof Adei said this at the launch of a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Friends of Mental Health, in Accra on Monday.
He expressed worry about the country’s little attention to mental health care, saying that last year the government did not release any money for mental health services.
However, this year, GH¢500,000 had been released for the various mental health facilities even though drugs are yet to be made available.
Prof. Stephen Adei, who is also a member of the board of trustees of Friends of Mental Health said that such a situation has forced the Mental Health Authority to rely on NGOs and other partners for drugs to take care of mental patients in the country.
"It’s quite unfortunate and whenever I see a mentally sick person walking in the streets, sometimes totally naked, do you know whom we are indicting, me and you, from the President to the young person."
"I couldn't believe that in 2016 not a pesewa of government budget was dedicated to mental health. That is the year, literally millions were spent, legitimately or in bribing people to vote and we didn't spend as a people, a pesewa in helping mentally sick people."
"I believe that there are many things that has to be done, we need roads, we need schools, we need factories and all of them, but nothing will define our humanity as Ghanaians with what we do with the mentally sick," Prof Adei said.