BUTTERFLIES CHAPTER 1

2011

Ghana

The Accra Psychiatric Hospital is 100 years old and one of the three hospital of its kind left in Ghana. Its lack of renovation and attention has resulted in it being one of the worst kept hospital in the country.

According to the World Health organization, more than two million Ghanians fall within the category of mental illness and need urgent attention. Most of these people are city roamers or revert to traditional healing methods such as herbalists or prayer camps. The Accra Psychiatric hospital only shelters a very small percentage of

the country’s mental patients and is often seen as a last resort. The Hospital contains 22 wards, most of them lacking beds, toilets, showers and proper hygiene. Some of the wards used to be large shower rooms that have been turned into open empty spaces where patients roam. Patients urinate inside these room’s gutters and sleep next to them. The mosquitoes invade the rooms at night exposing the inmates to Malaria. Pneumonia and other infectious diseases hit a lot of the patients staying in the wards. Most patients are unattended and kept under control with approximatively medication.

The 2 serving hospital’s psychiatrists are often missing and replaced by pseudo doctors and an exaggerated amount of underpaid nurses. There are 7 psychiatrists in the whole of Ghana, the following pictures have been taken undercover while being shown the facilities’ conditions in spring 2011.