Ghana Somubi Dwumadie

As part of Ghana Somubi Dwumadie (Ghana Participation Programme), we helped improve 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. It is run by an Options-led consortium, which also consists of BasicNeeds-Ghana, Kings College London and Tropical Health.

Sightsavers supported the programme from January 2020 to March 2023 to improve the lives of people with disabilities and mental health conditions through the programme, which launched in 2020.

We provided technical assistance to help develop and implement policies that will uphold the rights of people with disabilities and worked 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.

Key achievements

  • Adapted Sightsavers’ accessibility audit toolkit for use in Ghana. We carried out two accessibility audits at Bawku Presbyterian and Bongo Hospitals, and Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations (GFD) has used the tool to conduct an accessibility audit at another hospital
  • Developed an advocacy toolkit for accessibility
  • Conducted capacity building for GFD and its members on advocating for disability rights, collecting and using disability disaggregated data for their advocacy, leadership skills and monitoring, evaluation and learning techniques
  • Trained newly-formed mental health regional visiting committees and supported the training of the inclusion ambassadors
  • Worked to reduce disability stigma by developing a language guide to tackle negative and derogatory language around disability and used social behaviour change techniques to guide the work of local grantees in reducing negative and discriminatory attitudes
  • Supported the production of a documentary promoting access to justice for women with disabilities

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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