121002 Like a death sentence Ghana pdf

'Like a death sentence' Abuses against persons with disabilities in Ghana pdf

Human Rights Watch

An estimated 2.8 million persons in Ghana have mental disabilities. of these around 650,000 of these are assumed to have severe mental disabilities.Mental disability is widely considered to be caused by evil spirits or demons.

This report examines the experiences of persons with mental disabilities in Ghana in the three main environment in which they receive care: the broader community, the country's three public psychiatric hospital, and residential prayer camps. Prayer camps are privately owned religious institutions with roots in the evangelical or pentecostal denominations. The camps are run by prophets, many of them self proclaimed. Some of these camps have units where persons with mental disabilities are admitted. The prophets, pastors and staff at these camps have virtually no mental health care training, and the camps operate with virtually no government oversight. 

The research for this report is based on visits to eight prayer camps and three psychiatic hospitals. Interviews were also conducted between Nov 2011 and June 2012 with almost 170 persons. These persons included those with mental disabilities, caregivers, government officials health service providers, NGOs, religious leaders and representatives of various UN organizations.

Perons with mental disabilities experience a wide range of human rights abuses in Ghana. This is depsite the fact that Ghana has ratified a number of international human rights treaties including the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)