Monday, November 29, 2010

Government in Ghana asked to formulate comprehensive disability policy

From the Ghana News Agency:

ACCRA, Ghana -- Ms Anna Bossman, Deputy Commissioner at the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), has asked the government to formulate a comprehensive policy on the vulnerable and disabled in the country.

She also said there was the need to train professional care-givers to assist the aged and the disabled.

Ms Bossman made the request at the launch of a handbook that specifies what care recipients expect from care-givers, in Accra at the weekend. The handbook: "What the Care Recipient Wants You to Know," is a compilation by Sharecare Ghana, an association of people with autoimmune and neurological conditions, including their families and care-givers. The booklet is written from the perspective of someone receiving care from another person, and is expected to guide students of social work and care-givers taking care of people with disabilities.

Ms Bossman called on the government to consider introducing community-based home care for people with disabilities and the vulnerable, saying that could be a cost-effective way of caring for the vulnerable.

Mrs Mavis Okang-Afoakwah, Director of Ripples Health Care, an organization that offers specialist palliative acre to people suffering from cancer and other life limiting illnesses, said there was the need for a policy on home-based care service in the country.

She cited Namibia, Uganda and other African countries that have such policies and said it was necessary because anybody could become disabled at any time.

Nana Yaa Agyeman, founder of Sharecare, Ghana, said the organization advocates professional home-care, saying it would help save the state money in hospital cost and give persons with severe disabilities assistance to start working.

She appealed to Ghanaians to change their negative mindset about persons with disabilities. Ms Farida Bedwei, a Member of Sharecare, Ghana, sharing her experiences as a disabled person said most care-givers perform their duties in a mechanical manner without any compassion for the clients.

She said: "It can be humiliating and depressing, especially for those who got their conditions when they were fully-independent adults."

Ms Bedwei advised care-givers of disabled people to perform their duties with love and compassion. Home care makes it possible for care recipient to remain at home in a safe environment and in some cases have more independence.