I see the word “lunatic” and “mad man” to be somewhat politically incorrect. For the purpose of this post I will therefore avoid the use of these terms and rather fall on the term senior citizens which would refer to the men and women who walk on our streets every day without homes and have lost control of some parts of their mental faculties.
The Accra Psychiatric Hospital currently is facing a major problem of returning recovered in-mated to their homes. In Ghana mental diseases in whichever form is seen as a shameful ailment and thus not too many family members would even want to associate themselves directly or indirectly with such affected individuals. What usually happens is that people with some sort of mental illness are taken to one of the only three psychiatric hospitals in Ghana and are abandoned at the hospital. Wrong addresses and contact numbers are provided to the hospital administration. In this case no cquaintance can be contacted when the need arises.
I always wonder who takes care of our senior citizens who walk in town obviously unconscious of their environment. I have seen and heard lots of beauty queens and NGO’s pledge their support for the homeless, the motherless, the poor, the un-educated, the disabled, I am however yet to come across one who will pledge an unconditional support to see to it that our senior citizens get access to a happy and a more hygienic lifestyle. I took my camera one day and decided to capture a few and trust me it wasnt too difficult to come by a few. This is a part of Ghana that nobody seems to cae so much about. Yet it is an image that is slowly affecting the beauty of the country.
One surprising event is that we hardly see them at ‘post’ whenever a special dignitary comes into the country. I hear they are forcefully captured and hidden from the sight of the visiting dignitaries. Shouldn’t this be a prompt for society to do something about them once and for all? No matter their current situations they are a part of us and need to be attended to in one way or another. The question is who will be the first to bell the cat?