Ghana Somubi Dwumadie

As part of Ghana Somubi Dwumadie (Ghana Participation Programme), we’re improving support for people with disabilities, improving access to services and tackling stigma around mental health conditions.

A large group of people gather together for a photo outside a building. Some people are seated, some are standing and there is a man in a wheelchair at the front of the group.

There are more than five million people with disabilities in Ghana, including 2.8 million people who have a mental health condition. 

Ghana Somubi Dwumadie is a four-year disability programme in Ghana, with a specific focus on mental health. This programme is funded with UK aid from the UK government. The programme is run by an Options’ led consortium, which also consists of BasicNeeds-Ghana, Kings College London, Sightsavers and Tropical Health.

Sightsavers is supporting the project to improve the lives of people with disabilities and mental health conditions through the programme, which launched in 2020. We’re providing technical assistance to help develop and implement policies that will uphold the rights of people with disabilities and working with organisations of people with disabilities to strengthen their ability to advocate on behalf of the disability community.

The programme will also generate research and evidence to inform better national policy-making, for example making the voting process more accessible. A key area of the project is increasing the number of quality mental health services and improving their accessibility for people with disabilities.

Good health and wellbeing is a fundamental human right. However, research from the project has also found that 85 to 98% of people experiencing mental health issues in Ghana cannot access the treatment they need. This is due to a lack of service provision, lack of trained mental health professionals, inaccessible services for people with disabilities and the stigma that surrounds mental health.

Ghana Somubi Dwumadie logo
of Ghana’s health expenditure goes towards mental health
A large group of people sit in a circle outside in a shaded area next to a building.
Community leaders meet with inclusion ambassadors in Mafi-Awakpedome, in Ghana’s Volta region.

What the project has achieved so far

  • Supported grantees to recruit 89 inclusion ambassadors to help tackle negative attitudes against people with disabilities and mental health conditions. These ambassadors have been chosen by their communities and their status enables them to bring about changes in community behaviour using social behaviour change techniques. This is a way of shifting attitudes for long-term, sustainable positive change.
  • Established a parliamentary caucus, attended by members of Ghana’s parliament, which gives the disability community a platform to ensure disability issues are promoted in parliament.
  • Supported leadership skills training for 63 leaders from the Ghana Federation of Disability Organizations across all 16 regions in Ghana.

This programme is funded with UK aid from the UK government.

Watch the video to hear four women speak about their experiences of living with a disability, and what needs to change.

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Our work in Ghana