Dr Akwasi Osei, Chief Psychiatrist of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital (APH), has stated that homosexuality is a psychiatric disorder which can be treated.
Psychiatric disorders are mental health disorders. The term tends to be used for more severe mental illnesses, not the less severe types of psychological disorders.
"Condemning and stigmatising the people involved in the act will not help us. Rather, we should deliberate more on the issue and think of a way to let them know that they are not well and that they could be treated,” he said.
In recent times there has been turbulent controversy over the incidence of homosexuality in the country, with human rights activists and religious leaders approaching the issue from different angles. While religious leaders make their arguments from the religious perspective, that is, against the norms and values of society, human rights activists make theirs on the country’s laws which allow an individual free speech and association.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic on the issue, Dr Osei said unlike the American society which is individualistic, the Ghanaian society is a communist society whereby an act of a person affected society as whole.
"The way forward is to let these people accept that they have a problem and that they can be treated, instead of calling them names which will not solve the situation,” the Chief Psychiatrist stated.
He called on stakeholders such as the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) to take the leadership role and call for a conference to be able to deliberate extensively on the issue and come to a conclusive solution which would not disintegrate the Ghanaian society.
His fear, however, was that policy makers might be forced to legalise that canker because of the pressure from foreign donors.
Touching on the recent repatriation exercise at the APH dubbed "Operation 600 Patients Home", Dr Osei said so far 200 inmates had been repatriated to their various home towns and that the operation had been very successful.