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Tag: Ghana

When life is just too hard to deal with: World Suicide Prevention Day

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day and it’s got me thinking a lot about things I can do to make the situation better in Ghana.  Depression, Suicide and abuse are not treated properly in this country but at least we have CHRAJ and WAJU.  Depression and suicide and mental health issues are ignored in Ghana and I believe that’s a huge boo boo.  I don’t know why it is that we are so afraid of death.  It’s a subject most do not want to discuss and even more so when someone takes his/her own life.  But I think burying our heads in the sand won’t make the problem go away.

Adults and children alike have been committing suicide in Ghana for several years.  Our poor record keeping though, means we don’t have actual figures.  Most info on suicide in Ghana comes from the sensationalist tabloids who aren’t given much credit for their newsworthiness.  We get stories like this one from time to time which shock us to the core momentarily and then we go about our daily business and forget all about the tragedy.

According to this article, over 1500 people, most of them between the ages of 20 and 35, were reported to have committed suicide in 2008.  I checked the Annual report of the Ghana Health Service and this wasn’t mentioned. I truly wonder if these reported cases come from the Ghana Police Service or the Health service.  Where are these figures from?!!!  The 2009 Annual report doesn’t mention Mental Health at all.  In 2007 however, according to their annual report,only 3.6% of the budget allocated to the Ghana Health Service went to the Mental health Services.   3.6%?  Healthy Mind Healthy Body!!!!  I know we have major diseases to deal with like TB and Malaria and Lymphatic Filariasis but seriously…..3.6% explains why we have so few mental health centres and why they are understaffed.  Shame on you GHS.  You should know better.

I have heard that KNUST has started a counseling centre to deal with these issues amongst its students. It’s a wonderful idea, what with the number of jumpers Tech has had over the years.  In searching for that, I discovered Lifeline Ghana.  I wonder if they’re fully operational and will be looking deeper into it.   They were kind enough to list their phone numbers so I will be giving them a call.


I’d love to see Legon do the same thing Tech is rumoured to be doing, and eventually spread it out all over the country. Anyone interested in seeing that happen should holla @ me.  I’m ready to get stuck in but will need all the help I can get.  More people on board will give us a bigger voice.

So um, Happy Suicide Prevention Day! 😀  Remember to hug your loved ones and tell them you care. And that loner of a coworker, maybe you should invite em out for a cup of coffee. I want to see us do this all day of the year.  This ain’t christmas to think about only on the D day 🙂

Anywho, don’t forget to check out :

WHO
IASP
WHO WSPD statement 2009

~Daixy~

The Skin I’m in…..

Sweet like chocolate
Smooth as silk
Dark like coffee
Skimped on the milk
Redolent of a lotus field
And blessed with a mellifluous tongue,
I Am Regal, African, Mother,
Proud 
 A true gift of the gods.
Now, is it any wonder that I refuse to yield?
~Daixy~

Dunno why I was up at 2am but at least I got something out of it.  I know I’m a pseudo feminist and African but does anything stop me from displaying my roots? 😛  Ghanaian girls, please don’t shoot me for picking a pic of a Nigerian model.  I beg oh! 

Guess Who’s back….

Guess who’s back?
Back again?
Daixy’s back
Tell a friend 😉
So this little lady went on a road trip and worked her arse to the bone. Two weeks of hard work never killed anyone right?
After two weeks in the lovely Upper East Region of Ghana, I am back home.  It feels wonderful to be back in my own bed, to curl up with my kitty Ginger next to me. I really missed him.  He’s lost so much weight since I’ve been gone 🙁  No more stuffy hotel rooms, no eating strange stuff that makes my tummy grumble, and even better?  I have my kitchen back!!!  No more MSG.  Just plain old good Daixy cooking.

I’m not looking forward to the stress of regular work and home, but I did miss my family and friends.   I’m no longer the stranger everyone mistakes for a young doctor (which can be interesting at times)  and I won’t be laughed at for pronouncing words wrong.  I had so much salt, cuz I was eating lunch at a local bar (lunch being a couple sticks of khebab from the self acclaimed “best khebab in town”).
So, fun things I got to do on this trip?  Well, I witnessed a donkey fight.  The lighter toned donkey had a firm grip on the others ear and wouldn’t let go. 

Our guide got out of the car to seperate them and that’s when the victim turned into the attacker.  I had a good lol at that, cuz whereas the light donkey was biting his ear, this dude went for his tail.  He didn’t make it though 😉

Our local guide informed us that these usually docile creatures can bite and kick each other to death and for no apparent reason.  There were no females about, they had nothing to prove to each other…And I can bet you they just ran off to find someplace more private to finish off the match.
I was hanging out of the car to get these shots.  Kinda disappointed that my zoom wouldn’t get in any farther 🙁  That moment where the darker donkey’s teeth were about to snap onto the others tail?  Breathtaking.  I was actually cheering him on lol.  (Woso ka no bi!!!)
I love this side of  Ghana.  It’s nature: clean and undisturbed by urbanisation, exactly as she should be.   Too bad it’s not home lol.
Now I’m off to catch a few zzzs.  Monday’s coming up lol

Fool Me Once….

Time:  4am
Date:  Monday 18th January, 2010

My sister wakes me up to say, “There’s an earthquake coming.  We have to go outside”.  Having only just managed to fall asleep after 2am, I’m not appeciating being woken up.  I ask, “Who told you there was an earthquake coming?”  She says a friend called from work and said she’d heard the news from Joy FM. So I tell her that I’m going back to sleep and that if there’s an earthquake, I will wake up and find a good doorway to stand under.

Two minutes later, my dad is in my room teling me to get off the bed.  I grab my phone to check the time and then open my facebook, reading people’s comments out loud.  “Who is the idiot who’s waking me up at 4am?”  and so on.  Then comes the argument that should the story be real, I’m safer outside.  I simply go back to bed and tell them that there’s no earthquake and that if there is one, I know what to do and that they can go outside. 

Now as I’m laying there, it hits me.  “Earthquakes being predicted?!!!”  Now what I know is that they can’t predict the arrival of an earthquake to a T.  Usually it’s only a few seconds forewarning.  Certainly not the 10 or so minutes I spent arguing with my family about my need for sleep.  And even then, it’s often based on foreshocks which I had not felt. (I often feel the shocks even when everyone else in the house does not….we ARE sitting on a fault and we get more tremors than people like to admit)  Also, I knew that Ghana’s only seismometer was broken.  So, how on earth did they manage to forsee this event?

9am and I’m about leaving for the office.  I’m terribly late and still feeling sick and sleepy. Then I’m told my aunt in Hohoe called at 4am to tell us to get outside.  Far as  I know, Hohoe isn’t on a fault.  Madina, East Legon, McCarthy Hil etc are the problem areas.  The farthest a quake has ever been felt I think, is Kumasi in 1939.  Now I’m awfully amused.  Inquiries when I get to work paint an even more amusing picture.

Apparently, someone with an unregistered SIM sent a couple of text messages round saying he/she was with the Ghana Geological Agency and that they should get to safety because an earthquake was on its way.  The result?  The texts were forwarded, phone calls were made, and eventually most of the nation was gathered outside of homes.  People gathered on football fields (wise option)  and some on the beach (why on earth would anyone want to do that?)  yet others stood in their yards and streets where eletric poles and trees stood ready to crush and electrocute (in the event of an actual quake strong enough to topple them)….

One thing was very clear.  Ghanaians have a good broadcasting system.  Granted the hoax started about 11pm the previous day and got to me at 4am, but the bottom line is, we’re a caring people and will do anything to make sure our friends and family are safe.  That said, it’s a bloody shame that it turned out to be a hoax because the next time, should there be a real emergency, I am willing to bet that people will not believe it.

Now, I can understand why Ghanaians panicked.  Our brothers and sisters in Haiti are still suffering the effects of their MAJOR QUAKE.  In fact, Ghanaians havedonated $3 million in hopes of relieving some of the pressure.

Which brings me to the question….How on earth did we come up with $3million?!!!  I’d like to see us put money like that into promoting mental health and helping orphanages here.  If we’re capable of handing such money out, why on earth haen’t we helped ourselves?  Granted, I’m proud of us for stepping in to assist….but isn’t this taking the splinter from someone’s eye when you got a log in yours?

One thing can be said about Ghanaians though.  We’re ever ready to lend a helping hand to our brothers and sisters (even call them to warn about an earthquake).  Makes me feel good to know this, despite the early April Fools.