(CASE STUDY OF KOMFO ANOKYE TEACHING HOSPITAL )
Mental health is a subject that is least discussed in the country, despite the fact that about 60 to 70% of Ghanaians have mental illnesses, be it diagnosed or UN-diagnosed.
So let me start this way, a friend of mine decided to take a sabbatical leave, not the literal one but she needed a break from all that had been going on in her head. This lady had been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Despite all these mental pressures she managed through her childhood trauma as well as her countless emotional traumas and was able to complete and excel in her Bachelors degree in accounting, as well as her Masters degree in Finance.
Well life was going well for her until she had her first mental health issue hit her. She suddenly became so depressed, dark inside, and eventually had the urge to self-harm and attempt suicide a couple of times, which all failed.
This lady realized that unlike other women or people, she found it harder dealing with men. Therefore a man being uncaring and unfaithful always got to her so much it always triggered her depression, and the higher the depression phase, the higher the rate of suicidal ideas she had.
Now let’s talk a bit about her past. This lady was raped at the age of 10 and also forcibly had sex with at the age of 17, after which she continued with an abusive relationship for 4 good years.
Now after all the blabbing about, we come to the main issue. Why the hell did she continue the abusive relationship for 4 years. Simple answer: naive. She ended up getting introduced to alcohol, and eventually self-harm. She visited the psych ward several times, for therapy and admission. Eventually this lady one day got so suicidal she decided to tell her family, who rushed her to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) psych, unfortunately to be told there was no vacant bed. The only accommodation was the Accident and Emergency (A&E) ward. It was either that choice or a special ward which was absurdly expensive. So she took the A&E ward and stayed there for 2 nights.
She had an interesting experience at the ward she regretted being there. These are some of the following issues she came up to meet over there:
- Beds so close to each other
- No bathrooms
- Supposed to pee in pales at night
- Could not keep their belongings on you or you risk theft
- No bathing as mentioned earlier, only “bed bath”, where they wiped themselves with dump towels and that was it for the day.
Aside all these things she saw patients rushed in with severed parts of their bodies, arms, legs, struggling to breathe so hardly.
All these experiences gave her a new outlook on life.
To conclude, KATH Accident & Emergency ward needs intensive care, development and restructuring.
“The Horror of an Accident and Emergency ward”.
So yeah instead of being taken to my normal ward, the place like she was fed up, and the only available space was the accident and emergency ward. So many people on life support, oxygen masks, pales for urinating, changing bags of shit and urine accumulated overnight, and then as if it wasn’t enough there was a bed brought just beside hers with a young man, bleeding so much with his hand severed hanging like in the “Saw” movie.
I’m someone who loves horror movies and yet still this was just too much for me to imagine in real life. These doctors and nurses are not getting the right appreciation they deserve. My congrats to you all.
By Jill Boafo