This project will help finance essential medications for 14,000 residential patients with chronic mental illness and seizure disorders (epilepsy) in treatment at Association Saint-Camille (ASC). ASC is a comprehensive outpatient and residential treatment program in Benin, Togo, and Ivory Coast Medication costs average $900,000 per year for 125,000 consultations. ACS is unique in accepting all patients regardless of ability to pay. Patients are asked to pay $2.00 per month for medications.
Due to COVID19, many patients can no longer afford to pay for medications due to job loss. Others are unable to come to the clinics due to travel restrictions. Delivering medications to them has forced ASC to resort to more expensive solutions. The majority of medications are ordered from India to minimize cost although the shipping fees are high. Medical missions to hand-carry medications are not advised and cannot supply the full need. Medication costs have increased during the pandemic.
This project will supply 10 psychiatric treatment centers and 52 outpatient clinics (relay mobile stations) with vital medications treating major illnesses including Depression, Schizophrenia (psychosis), Bipolar Disorder (manic-depression), among others. Patients with seizure disorders (epilepsy) are also treated at ASC due to a severe shortage of neurologists. ASC has over 125,000 patient consultations per year throughout the French West Africa region, and newly in Chad.
Without treatment, these patients are found homeless or chained so that they cannot wander the streets. They are often banished from their families due to a traditional belief that they are possessed by spirits or that the disorder is contagious. Bringing evidence-based treatments and family awareness efforts assist ASC in restoring dignity to their lives and in breaking the chains of stigma for the mentally ill in West Africa. Medication options are a vital part of recovery.