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Q' lypse
24th January 2013, 07:33 AM
Superstition, pastors blamed - For derailing effort at reducing mental illness




The National Chief Psychiatrist, Dr Akwasi Osei, has stated that superstition and the negative activities of some pastors are hampering efforts at reducing the rate of mental illness in the country.

He expressed regret at the way some pastors brainwashed patients and their relatives with false doctrines to the effect that they tended to believe in the supernatural, to the neglect of seeking advice from health professionals.

Dr Osei said this at a day’s workshop for the dissemination of the Mental Health Act in Tamale.

It was on the theme: “Increasing knowledge of key provisions of Ghana’s new Mental Health Law”.

The workshop was organised by Basic Needs, Ghana, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), with support from Comic Relief, with the aim of exposing key heads of departments and agencies, mental health service providers, security agencies and civil society groups to the key provisions of the Mental Health Law.

The participants discussed topics such as key commitments to increasing awareness of the Mental Health Law and background to the law.

Dr Osei underscored the need for attitudinal change if the Mental Health Law was to be effectively implemented.

He expressed concern over the attribution of mental illness to witchcraft or supernatural forces allegedly traceable to relatives of the patients.

“In fact, some of our pastors are not helping the situation, hence the need for social re-engineering. The attitude of some people towards religion is rather retrogressive,” the Chief Psychiatrist said.

He said one in four or five Ghanaians had some form of mental disorder, noting, for instance, that an abnormal obsession with neatness, fear of height or taking lifts and boarding aircraft were all mental disorders.

Dr Osei said about 93 per cent of suicide cases and over 90 per cent of armed robbery cases were due to mental disorder as a result of excessive intake of drugs.

He expressed optimism that in the next five to 10 years, the new Mental Health Law would help facilitate the establishment of 40-50 bed psychiatric hospitals in each region.

Dr Osei further stated that four drug rehabilitation centres would be established nationwide under the law.

The Executive Director of Basic Needs, Ghana, Mr Peter Badimak Yaro, pledged, on behalf of the organisation, to increase awareness of the Mental Health Law to deepen its understanding among the people.

“We will target specific groups and educate them on the law to ensure its effective implementation, ” he stated.

http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/religion/artikel.php?ID=261996

Q' lypse
24th January 2013, 07:42 AM
In December last year, my cousins and their parents went to Ghana for holidays. Within hours of their arrival, one of my cousins started complaining about headaches, fever and dizziness. This wasn't taken seriously. The next morning, his condition had become worse. I think they went to the hospital where pain killers were prescribed.

When they arrived in Kumasi on the 3rd day or so, he was so sick that he couldn't even walk without help. No appetite at all. The fever, headaches were severe. My mother is a retired nurse so she was hustling trying to get a specialist at Komfo Anokye, the big teaching hospital she had worked at for over 20yrs. She is known over there so she has a way of getting immediate services from nurses and doctors. The doctor who attended to my cousin gave him antibiotics. Malaria was ruled out because the malaria parasite takes 2 weeks to manifest in its host. Plus he was on anti malaria meds anyway.

He still couldn't eat properly. His food was fruits and water. Although the fever and other symptoms subsided, the headaches didn't. He explained, the top of his head was pounding, when you touched it, the pain magnified, as if being hit with a hammer or something hard. His eyes felt like they were popping out, he had double vision, his motor functions had been affected. His hand writing had deteriorated, like when he was in lower primary.

My uncle in South Africa who is a doctor spoke to my mother trying to find out what the hell was going on noted down the symptoms. He told them to go back to the hospital, see the doctor, gave them instructions on the tests that must be taken. The doctor told him to keep taking the antibiotics and come back 3 days later. :distrust:

Ehi Ghana!! This person may be dying with the symptoms described and you tell him to go back home, come back 3 days later?!!:hurt: Ehi!! My uncle in SA told them to get CT scan, MRI etc. But this is Ghana. CT scan for where? I think there are about 5 MRI machines in the whole country. A couple of years ago, there was none.

Things seemed bleak. My uncle ordered him to come to SA immediately because he needed proper medical care. My mother being a strong religious woman started tripping. Witches!!:smiley_simmons:This is Africa, when all fails, turn to superstition.

She decided to take him to this SDA pastor who had been shunned or severely criticized by the Adventist church because of his wild ways. Prophesying, casting out witches or evil spirits, healing. Basically he’s been doing the stuff these charismatic so called prophets of God have been doing. And the Adventist sticking to their old traditional way of worship still stand firm in these chaotic religious times.
The mystery of this illness had entire family rattled up. I’m talking about the abusia panin (head of the family), grand parents, uncles and aunts, cousins etc. My cousin is a spiritual person, non religious, he’s studied theology as a minor back in varsity so he’s not someone who is naïve when it comes to these topics. He might as well be another Q’lypse here.

Well this is when this story becomes interesting, and the reason why I posted it here.


They went to this so called odiifuo pastor. My mum, his parents and he went too. I was communicating with him before he left via text messages. I asked if he was really up to this because these prayer things can get on ones nerves, someone like him who has spent his whole life in SA is new to this experience, he must be prepared to be shocked. He said to me, as long as it doesn't make me fall asleep Im cool. I said ok.

Here is what I could summarize from my cousin’s narration…..

The pastor first asked him sexual questions,
Pastor: Have you been thinking about sex?

The quams: Yes

Pastor: In your sleep?

The quams: Yes.

Pastor: Have you had sex before?

TQ: Yes
(and this is in front of his parents, my cousin is in his mid 20s)


P: Was there someone in your life that you liked a lot?

TQ: Yes (he thought about this for a while before giving the yes answer)…

P: Has this person cooked for you in the past year?

TQ: No.
(pastor insists that she has, meanwhile in truth the last time she cooked for him was 4yrs ago, it’s an old relationship).

P: When did you marry this woman? :upset:

TQ: What? I am not married.

This pastor insists that he is…

P: Who was involved in the marriage ceremony? It was a spiritual marriage.. Pray to God to show you. You will remember..

TQ: (now in total shock and disbelief, closes his eyes, pauses for some seconds and thinks, if he did get married, who are the family members who would be involved in the ceremony, obviously using his memory from a couple of years ago when his elder brother had a traditional marriage-he comes out of the silence and gives the pastor names of some family members), His parents, my mother, two uncles, a couple of aunts…

P: Uh haa.. Now, how much was the schnapps?

TQ: Another confusion look and feeling like exploding goes into deep thoughts, starts doing some serious calculations in his head(he is an engineer who is very good at calculations, so he started converting currencies, from South African Rand to Dollars, from Dollars to Cedis, R8.5=$1, Schnapps might be the price of a normal whiskey, divide this amount in Rands by 8.5, this gives you how much it cost in dollars, now multiply what you get by 1.8 cedis, this equals…rounding up, 30GHC).

P: How much money was spent on this ceremony?

TQ: (Has now officially realized that this guy is an ignorant nut case plays along without questioning—he does his conversions again and gives 120GHC).

P: The girl gave you something to eat which has made you sick, in order to get better you have to reverse the whole marriage ceremony, you have to buy all the things you bought for the marriage to annul this spiritual marriage.

My cousin had been so angry that he wanted to tell the man off and walk out but because of respect for my mother, he stayed.

As they were leaving he told his mother (my aunt) that the guy is stupid, ignorant, this whole thing is bullshit!! His mother didn't reply because she knew he was right.
The pastor was talking to my cousin’s dad who was furious about what he’s heard. He was trying to convince him that he must believe these things from God.
Hours later I texted my cousin to find out what happened, he said, dude, tell your brothers and mother to stop believing in this sh*t!! The pastor is ignorant, illiterate and stupid!
He was so pissed off! I told him I can’t, my family is deeply religious, it’s in their dna.

A few days later, he arrived in SA. He was getting better, but he had to be admitted. My uncle had arranged for him to see a physician who referred him to a neurosurgeon. We took him for CT scan, MRI, it was clean. All along my uncle had suspected meningitis but nobody could really tell. As tests results came out, it turned out to be a virus which has similar characteristics. The antibiotics he had been taking was helping. He spent only 2 days in hospital. His restless nature wanted to get out of hospital so badly because it was the 31st and he wanted to party.

A bloody viral attack on one’s nervous system is a what? Spiritual marriage and evil food? Aboafunu pastor, this, many fall for in Ghana!! Africa! Human beings, smfh!!
Like my cousin said, it was the pastor's own story, i just gave him characters.