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Saturday, March 3, 2018

GEMBA 2017 Zurich Class Supports Mental Health Institution in Ghana

March 3, 2018. Accra – The CEIBS Global Executive MBA 2017 Zurich cohort took time away from their studies today to visit the Pantang Hospital in Accra and donate GHS 10,000 worth of goods to the hospital for the patients’ daily needs. The donation is an example of CEIBS Global EMBA participants’ commitment to social responsibility.

President of the GEMBA 2017 Zurich class, Mr. Victor Ugorji said he was pleased that the class has embarked on such a noble mission and he pledged that the group will continue to support the hospital.“It is fulfilling for us to be here today,” he said. “Our school takes us all over the world and we should be able to give back to humanity wherever we go; this hospital is what we have chosen. The entire class believes in what we are doing and wants to support it. For sure this is not the last time you are going to hear from us.”

The CEIBS Global Executive MBA 2017 Zurich cohort comprises participants from around the world, including Switzerland, China, Ghana, Nigeria, Thailand and Togo. The group is in Accra March 3 to 10 to do the Financial Reporting and Entrepreneurial Management modules. During their visit to the hospital, the group toured some of its wards and met with hospital administrators, including Deputy Director of Nursing Services Madam Mary Kalawu, Human Resource Officer Mr. Francis Bakah, and Senior Nursing Officer Mr. Seth Boakye, to get a firsthand look at the facility’s operations and challenges. The Pantang Hospital is a teaching hospital that trains nurses that specialize in treating patients with mental health issues. The idea for the hospital was conceived in the 1960s under Ghana’s first President, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, but it didn’t begin operations until 1975. Its original purpose was to serve as a health village, focusing on mental illness while also treating patients with other conditions.

Madame Kalawu thanked the group for their visit and their support. “We are glad that you have visited,” she said. “Mental health is a serious and important national issue and it is fulfilling to know that you care about these kinds of issues.”

Mr. Bakah said the donation from the CEIBS group will help the hospital meet the challenge of caring for patients’ daily needs. “This hospital has the capacity to take 500 patients. However we are not getting the funds to run it at full capacity, so we had to reduce our admissions to about 200 patients,” he explained. “Even with this reduced number we still have difficulty managing the facility; we need to feed the patients, provide them with medicine and support their basic needs.”

Besides allocating more funding for mental health treatment, Mr. Boakye said the government should make more effort to educate society not to stigmatize mental illness. He described how this stigma has affected many of the hospital’s patients who have been abandoned by their families.  He said that some patients have spent as many as 20 years at the facility without receiving a single visit from their friends or family, and for many patients, this makes their condition even worse.

“Stigmatizing mental illness is a big issue we have to fight,” Mr. Boakye said. “Some relatives just bring patients here and that is the end; they will not come again. There are many of these cases in the chronic wards; these patients become the ‘property’ of the hospital.” 

Samuel Ocloo-Dzaba
Janine Coughlin