Terminologies in the general medical practice have often seen moderate improvement over the years with respect to translation into the various local languages. This has helped in the effective communication between health professionals and clients/patients. For nurses especially those who often communicate with the patient, this is very vital in situations where patients do not understand the English language.
Unlike in general medical practice, the issue in psychiatry is different. A lot of terminologies in psychiatry have not been translated into our local languages, especially Akan. This has been one of the major setbacks in the field of psychiatry in Ghana. As a result of this, communicating diagnosis, history taking becomes challenging sometimes. For psychiatric nurses that do health education, it becomes a major issue communicating psychiatric terminologies in our local languages to our clients and the public.
In light of this, the Mental Health Authority (MHA) together with other stakeholders is embarking on a translation of mental health terminologies into Akan (Twi) to help in effective communication between health professionals and clients/public. This started in 2018 with various mental health and language experts to translate mental health terminologies into Twi.
On 22nd December 2020, the MHA had a stakeholder meeting to validate the work done so far with representatives from the Ghana Psychological Council, Ghana Psychological Association, Ghana Prison’s Service, NGO’s in mental health, Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital, Accra Psychiatric Hospital, and Pantang Psychiatric Hospital, Ghana Health Service, Health Facilities Regulatory Agency (HeFRA), Media Houses.
According to the MHA a date for a second stakeholders meeting will be communicated soon.