Target: President of Ghana John Dramani Mahama
Goal: End the horrific abuses committed against those with mental health disabilities
The government of Ghana must do all that it can to ensure its Mental Health Authority effectively monitors the facilities it oversees. A recent report from the United Nations Human Rights Council exposes that people with mental disabilities in Ghana are often kept in inhumane conditions in hospitals and spiritual healing centers, referred to as “prayer camps.” The report indicates that shackling and denial of food and water is commonplace in these centers. This treatment is unethical and must be stopped immediately.
While the Ghanaian government has recently adopted the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, little has been done to fulfill its requirements. As previously noted, the use of shackles to contain patients in these camps is commonplace and a direct violation of the Convention treaty. The hospitals also face overcrowding and unsanitary conditions. People with disabilities who are held in prayer camps often do not receive necessary medical treatment, forced to drink herbal concoctions against their will, and are deprived of food and water. In a number of these camps, patients are chained to trees in an open courtyard where they sleep, defecate and bathe.
Something must be done to immediately end these illegal acts. The government must immediately place a ban on all coercive measures including restraint and solitary confinement. These prayer camps must also be placed under higher scrutiny, with an emphasis on upgrading the facilities currently in place. If necessary, criminal charges should be pursued against those who have so blatantly disregarded the human rights of others. Sign this petition and demand that action be taken to improve the health care of people with mental disabilities in Ghana.
Dear President John Dramani Mahama,
The recent United Nations report outlining the abuses faced by those with mental disabilities in your country is outrageous. Something must be done immediately so as to prevent any further suffering of these people. The actions taken by those running the clinic run in direct opposition to the treaties that your government has signed with the United Nations including the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
I ask that you immediately close these facilities and send the patients to higher quality hospitals where they may receive proper health care. They must also be allowed to make medical decisions for themselves instead of being forced to take medicine or undergo electro-shock therapy. By doing this your government will show the international community that you are serious about protecting the human rights of all your citizens.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Gary Rogers via Geograph UK