Advocacy http://hracghana.org/taxonomy/term/14 en Promoting quality access to mental health care http://hracghana.org/node/3065 <span>Promoting quality access to mental health care </span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/2" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">bright</span></span> <span>Tue, 07/16/2019 - 15:03</span> <div><p class="text-align-justify"><span><span><span>In Ghana, Persons with Mental Disabilities (PMDs) constitute a vulnerable group. They are often subjected to discrimination, social isolation and exclusion, human rights violations and cultural stigma, which leads to lack of social support and access to health care. For a population of more than 28 million people, there are currently only 16 psychiatrists and 1,558 psychiatric nurses operating in the country (numbers from 2015). The psychiatrist treatment at hospitals is politically under-prioritized and inaccessible to the majority of the more than 2.8 million people who live with mental disability, whereas 650,000 suffer from a severe mental illness.  This unbearable situation, tend to compel the majority of PMDs or their relations to resort to the easily accessible, culturally accepted and affordable treatment of traditional or faith-based healing options at the Traditional Mental Health Centers (TMHCs). Others seek treatment from TMHCs in order to avoid being stigmatized by community members or close family relations as well as from service providers in public mental health institutions. </span></span></span></p> <p class="text-align-justify"><span><span><span>While TMHCs have been accepted by most Ghanaians as an alternative avenue of treatment of mental illness, TMHC’s practices and treatment services are in some situations unregulated. Attempts have been made by some bodies such as the Council for Traditional Medicine Practitioners and the Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicines Practitioners Associations (GHAFTRAM) under the Traditional Medicines and Practice Act, (Act 575) 2000 to certify, regulate and monitor the administration of traditional medicines for health treatment-including mental illness. The Mental Health Authority has also been committed to raising awareness amongst operators on minimum forms of treatment including unshackling of PMDs. Nonetheless, these efforts do not adequately reach operators who use ‘spiritual’ and traditional medicines for treating mental illness-which sometimes are clandestine in nature and fail to adhere to minimum standards of treatment of care. </span></span></span></p> <p class="text-align-justify"><span><span><span>In view of this, the STAR-Coalition that is, the Human Rights Advocacy Centre (HRAC) together with Mind Freedom Ghana, is implementing a project dubbed “Promoting quality access to mental health care and rights of persons with mental disabilities in traditional mental health centers in Ghana”. </span></span></span></p> <p class="text-align-justify"><span><span><span>This project seeks to advocate for the improvement of mental health care services and treatment in TMHCs and ensure equitable access to medical care and human rights protection of PMDs. It also aims at addressing systemic issues and constraints that exclude PMD from having equitable access to mental health treatment in Ghana.   It further aims to improve the understanding of human rights abuses and conditions of PMDs at TMHCs through information and data collection. This will put the spotlight on institutional and policy lapses in the national response on mental health care. </span></span></span></p> <p class="text-align-justify"><span><span><span>The Project which began in September, 2017 with an inception meeting with stakeholders from the Health, Human Rights, and Law Enforcement fraternity is expected to last for 30 months</span></span></span></p> <p class="text-align-justify"><span><span><span> Activities scheduled to address issues of Mental Health as part of the project are as follows;</span></span></span></p> <ol> <li><span><span><span> Focusing on advocacy and research as a way to ensure the promotion and protection of the human rights of PMDs and secure their access to service delivery. This is done through the generation of evidence for advocacy to improve and regulate treatment for PMDs at TMHCs. </span></span></span></li> </ol> <p class="text-align-justify"> </p> <ol start="2"> <li><span><span><span>            An operational protocol will be developed jointly by civil society organizations working with PMDs and national stakeholders and used as a framework for institutional response on the treatment of PMDs in TMHC. </span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span>            The Star-Coalition will hold meetings with stakeholders, decision-makers and CSOs to initiate dialogues with key stakeholders around the adoption of the protocol. </span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span>            Activities also include training workshops for operators of TMHC and community health psychiatric nurses and community outreaches and awareness raising through public media. Together these activities will educate, strengthen and promote the treatment and civic consciousness on mental health as a medical condition and promote a collective action to de-stigmatize responses to PMDs. </span></span></span></li> </ol> <p class="text-align-justify"><span><span><span>The project seeks to employ the different media platforms to create awareness on improved mental health conditions and be watchdogs to ensuring the law on mental health is enforced. The project will also highlight issues of mental health, and as well hold people accountable for their actions. Finally, it will provide the necessary knowledge about institutions that have the mandate to enforce the mental health of PMDs, thereby challenging institutions to be responsive to their mandate.  </span></span></span></p> <p class="text-align-justify"><span><span><span>                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           </span></span></span></p> <p class="text-align-justify"> </p> <p class="text-align-justify"><span><span><span> </span></span></span></p></div> <div> <div>Project Status</div> <div>Ongoing</div> </div> <div> <div>Start Date</div> <div><time datetime="2019-07-16T12:00:00Z">Tue, 07/16/2019 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <div> <div>image 282 x 314</div> <div> <img src="/sites/default/files/2019-07/community%20Durbar.JPG" width="282" height="314" alt="mental health " typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <div> <div>Thematic Area</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/11" hreflang="en">Marginalized Group</a></div> </div> </div> <div> <div>Scope of Work</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/14" hreflang="en">Advocacy</a></div> </div> </div> Tue, 16 Jul 2019 15:03:16 +0000 bright 3065 at http://hracghana.org Gender Sensitization Program http://hracghana.org/node/3037 <span>Gender Sensitization Program</span> <span><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrielw</span></span> <span>Sat, 05/26/2018 - 17:40</span> <div><p>A study conducted in 2009 showed that 14% of Ghanian school students were sexually abused. In most cases the students being abused are female. Young girls and women in Ghana are commonly victims of physical, sexual, emotional, and economic abuse.</p> <p>They are often subjected to harsh traditional customs such as child/forced marriage and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). In an effort to combat this issue, HRAC has partnered with Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC) to create projects that will minimize gender-based violence (GBV) in schools. These projects include research, policy drafts, and the training of advocates (policy makers/implementers). In July 2011 HRAC organized an interactive seminars at two different schools.</p> <p>The purpose of the seminars is to create awareness about GBV and to inform the students of who they should contact if they are victims of GBV. One exciting breakthrough HRAC has made in fighting GBV occurred when HRAC received funding from Star-Ghana to take on a 2 year project focusing on the prevention of GBV in schools in Greater-Accra, Eastern, and Volta region. Furthermore, HRAC started the Gender Sensistisation Program in Dade-Kutupon Constituency in July 2011, which was created to educate students on GBV, its effects and possible preventive measures in two basic schools in the Dade Kutupon Constituency.</p> <p>This program was organized completely by HRAC interns and volunteers. The HRAC team implemented drama skits in their education sessions on GBV to make it enjoyable for the kids to learn. Through this initiative alone HRAC was able to reach out to almost 500 students, a great success in terms of increasing awareness of GBV amongst students.</p></div> <div> <div>Percentage Completion</div> <div content="3.00">3.00%</div> </div> <div> <div>Project Status</div> <div>Completed</div> </div> <div> <div>Start Date</div> <div><time datetime="2011-07-01T12:00:00Z">Fri, 07/01/2011 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <div> <div>image 282 x 314</div> <div> <img src="/sites/default/files/2018-07/gender-sensitazation-program-282x314.jpg" width="282" height="314" alt="Gender Sensitization Program" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <div> <div>Thematic Area</div> <div> <div><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/10" hreflang="en">Gender</a></div> </div> </div> <div> <div>Scope of Work</div> <div> <div><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/14" hreflang="en">Advocacy</a></div> </div> </div> Sat, 26 May 2018 17:40:44 +0000 adrielw 3037 at http://hracghana.org Improving Access to Health for MSM http://hracghana.org/node/3036 <span>Improving Access to Health for MSM</span> <span><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrielw</span></span> <span>Sat, 05/26/2018 - 17:36</span> <div><p><strong><span>Introduction</span></strong></p> <p><span>Ghana is committed to protecting human rights in fulfillment of its domestic and international obligations. The Constitution makes provision for the right of all persons to be treated equally and without distinction on grounds including gender and economic status. </span></p> <p><span>The enjoyment of human rights including health care by men who have sex with men (MSM) however, is often challenged. Human rights violations, particularly discrimination against MSM continue to act as a major barrier to their access to healthcare and other services. In addition to this challenge encountered by the MSM, Ghana’s attempt to treat and manage STIs, including HIV, is adversely impacted due to MSM vulnerability to STIs. </span></p> <p><strong><span>Problem Statement</span></strong></p> <p><span>During HRAC’s implementation of previous interventions, we made three observations. First, the three Northern regions are left out in human rights and advocacy activities, which address factors that promote the prevalence of HIV in the country. Second, there is a fast growing, but hidden Key Population (KP) communities in the three Regions. Among these KPs are Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) who are at higher risk of contracting and transmitting STIs. Third, the MSM community does not access medical treatment for STI and HIV infections due to high incidence of stigma and discrimination. In view of these, HRAC with support from ViiV Positive Change is implementing the project, “Creating MSM Human Rights Awareness to Improve Access to Healthcare” in the Northern Region. Below are the highlights of some of the interventions by HRAC in the first year of implementation.</span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><strong><span><span>Stakeholders Consultative Meeting </span></span></strong></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>HRAC held a Stakeholders’ Consultative Meeting to kick off the ‘Creating MSM Human Rights Awareness to Improve Access to Health’ Project in the Northern Region. The goal of this meeting was to bring together members of the Key Population, and stakeholders including those in the health and justice sectors, to unveil the project and foster dialogue on better healthcare and justice outcomes for MSM in the Northern Region. Eighteen (18) representatives from major stakeholders participated in the activity. These included representatives from the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP), Legal Aids </span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>Scheme (LAS), Ghana Police Service and the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of Ghana Police Service. Others are Ministry of Health (MOH), Ghana AIDS commission (GAC), Ghana Health Service (GHS), the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), and the Alliance for Equality and Diversity (AfED).</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><strong><span><span>Advocacy Workshops</span></span></strong></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>We also organised an advocacy workshop for <strong>twenty-two (22)</strong> representatives of stakeholder organisations in the Tamale Municipality of the Northern Region of Ghana. We discussed with stakeholders, the human rights situation and concerns of </span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>MSM and its implication on access to health for MSM. The discussions improved participants’ knowledge on human rights to enable them become effective advocates and protectors of human rights of MSM, particularly in relation to access to health and justice. The workshop activities included presentations on ‘understanding human rights and factors that influence stigma and discrimination; understanding rights of MSM in the national context; and strategies to remove major barriers to access to health and Justice. Participants included representatives from Civil Society Organisations, Religious and traditional leaders and State institutions like Ghana Education Service, Ghana AIDS Commission, CHRAJ Ghana Police Service, Ghana Heath Service and Legal Aid Scheme. </span></span></span></span></span></span></p></div> <div> <div>Completion Date</div> <div><time datetime="2020-02-23T12:00:00Z">Sun, 02/23/2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <div> <div>Percentage Completion</div> <div content="2.00">2.00%</div> </div> <div> <div>Project Status</div> <div>Ongoing</div> </div> <div> <div>Start Date</div> <div><time datetime="2020-06-21T12:00:00Z">Sun, 06/21/2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <div> <div>image 282 x 314</div> <div> <img src="/sites/default/files/2019-07/IMG_0752.JPG" width="450" height="300" alt="Viiv" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <div> <div>Thematic Area</div> <div> <div><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/11" hreflang="en">Marginalized Group</a></div> </div> </div> <div> <div>Scope of Work</div> <div> <div><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/14" hreflang="en">Advocacy</a></div> </div> </div> Sat, 26 May 2018 17:36:11 +0000 adrielw 3036 at http://hracghana.org