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Lunatic Detention Act reviewed

Dec 6, 2010, 1:53 PM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyockeh

The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, through the Tanka-Tanka Psychiatric Hospital of the Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital, in collaboration with the WHO Country Office recently reviewed the Lunatics Detention Act.

Held at the Tanka-Tanka Hospital conference hall at Salaji, the forum was attended by various stakeholders such as the police, immigration, soldiers, journalists and health workers.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the head of the Tanka-Tanka Hospital, Anne Marie Mendy, said she was grateful to the WHO for supporting the initative.

Mrs Mendy said the Act was indeed archaic, and therefore needs revision to provide for the basic needs of people with mental disorders.

Momodou Gassama, Heath Promotion Officer of  the WHO, said the move to review the Lunatics Detention Act came as a result of growing concern within the WHO and the MOHSW over the plight of the mentally ill, and the need to push for collection action in support of the mentally ill.

Mr Gassama on behalf of the WHO Representative Dr Thomas Sukwa, thanked the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare for spearheading the development of a national mental health policy and strategic plan in 2007 with the support of the WHO.

He says the review of the Act is in line with provisions of the policy and strategy, which clearly articulates the need for better and quality services for the mentally ill.

He gave a succinct presentation on WHO guidelines for developing national mental health legislations.

The forum, coordinated by the Community Mental Health Team, was attended by people from different walks of life and sectors including health and law enforcement agencies.