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24 August 2017

Traditional leaders trained to protect rights of mentally challenged persons

About 80 traditional leaders from some selected districts in the Northern Region have been educated on the risks associated with violation of mentally challenged people rights.

The two days event organized in Tamale and Tolon brought together participants from Tamale, Sagnarigu, Savelugu-Nantong, Tolon and Kumbungu districts.

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A Tamale based human rights advocacy Non-Governmental Organization, Gub-Katimali spearheaded the capacity building workshop funded by the DFID.

Resource persons from the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Basic Needs Ghana and the Ghana Health Service dealt with topics such as the rights of mentally ill persons and their caregivers, mental disorders and management.

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The Executive Director of Gub-Katimali, Sheikh Yakubu Abdul Karim said the role of traditional rulers was indispensable in promoting the rights of mentally ill people.

“The workshop is to identify and train 185 chiefs, queen mothers and key opinion leaders on common mental disorders and human rights to increase knowledge and support for mental health.”

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Sheikh Yakubu Abdul Karim entreated the participants to serve as change Ambassadors in their localities.

According to him, Gub-Katimali since its inception has been sponsoring the welfare of 4,992 mentally ill patients across the Northern Region.

He categorized them into 102 groups all receiving charity information and livelihood support.

He commended DFID for funding the organization’s programmes geared towards increasing knowledge and support for mental health.

Some of the participants lauded the initiative and called for its sustainability.

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As an NGO, Gub-Katimali is also into facilitating the return and reintegration of head porters (Kayayei) into their various communities.

The NGO also focuses on supporting women’s viable economic activities, health and HIV/AIDS campaigns as well as girl child education.

By: Abdul Karim Naatogmah/citifmonline.com

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