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New Africa:
Health Matters
Developments in care for mentally ill children in Africa

Caring for those with special needs


Health Matters contributes to the New Africa Season by examining the new developments in care for mentally ill children in Africa.

The programme comes from Ghana, where Matilda Asante has been visiting the New Horizons Special School for the Intellectually Disabled.

This school has been running for 30 years. It was set up by Mrs Salome Francois after her first-born daughter developed seizures and became intellectually disabled.

At that time in Ghana there were no facilities that allowed children such as her daughter to be educated during the day and still able to live with her family in the evening.

Salome was a qualified radiographer but, with the help of others, managed to start up a Day School to cater for such children.

Salome tells Matilda about the devastating events that caused her daughter’s illness, and how she has battled to win a decent education for many similar children in Ghana.

The most talked-about medical condition in Africa is HIV/Aids. Nearly 90 million Africans could be infected by the HIV virus in the next 20 years if more is not done to combat the epidemic, the UN has warned.

It estimates the next two decades could see 89 million new cases of the disease in Africa - or up to 10% of the whole continent's population.
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