TOP
Wednesday,August 12,2020 06:45 AM
  • Home
  • Archive
  • Learn to handle people with mental illnesses

Learn to handle people with mental illnesses

By Vision Reporter

Added 12th December 2008 03:00 AM

Over 30% of the patients discharged from Butabika Mental referral hospital report back within three months following relapses, the hospital officials have revealed.

Over 30% of the patients discharged from Butabika Mental referral hospital report back within three months following relapses, the hospital officials have revealed.

By Florence Nakaayi

Over 30% of the patients discharged from Butabika Mental referral hospital report back within three months following relapses, the hospital officials have revealed.

The hospital executive director, Dr. Fred Kigozi attributed the trend to poor society’s response towards People with Mental Illnesses.
He said this is one of the major challenges facing mental health service delivery.

“Families neglect even the simplest responsibility of making sure that the patients take drugs or report back to hospital on review dates,” he said during a recent meeting with the Kampala deputy resident district commissioner, Fred Bamwine, at Butabika.

Other factors leading patients to deteriorate include stigma, poverty and limited information on mental health services.

When patients keep returning to the hospital, resources cannot suffice. Health officials are already too few to provide effective services. Infact, Kigozi says, the hospital cannot afford to monitor patients as they intergrate into thair communities after discharge, which is a necessary requirement.

The hospital currently has close to 700 patients who are catered for by about 170 health workers, most of them nurses. He said in such a hospital, the required ratio of patients per nurse should be four patients to one nurse. But in developing countries, a ratio of 20 patients to one nurse could be worthwhile.

Government has also commissioned construction of more mental regional hospitals in Masaka, Mbale, Lira, Moroto, Mubende and Mbarara to supppliment the existing ones in Hoima, Kabale, Fort-portal, Jinja, Soroti, Gulu and Arua.

Government is being assisted by non-governmental organizations such as Mental Health Uganda, Epilepsy Uganda, Foundation House and Kamwokya Christian Caring Community and BasicNeeds-UK, Uganda.

The common mental health diseases reported in Butabika Hospital include, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorders, depression and substance abuse.

Officials appeal to the public to view mental illness as a disease that can get anybody and avoid stigmatising patients. Butabika should also be viewed as a hospital not a prison they need to use to scare naughty children with. All sick people should be forwarded there.

What society should do
- Provide love, care and support
- Make sure that patients keep returning to hospital regularly because conditions surrounding mental illnesses can relapse.
- Follow up patients’ recovery and keep the hospital updated.
- If a person develops unusual behaviours, inquire from the health practioner or call the nearest hospital for guidance.
- Work with other partners like the local councils or police if the patient gets out of control and bring him or her to the hospital.
- On seeing escaping patients, (patients wear a green uniform) talk to them nicely and convince them back to the hospital. Butabika Hospital refunds the transport.
- Seek medical treatment instead of first consulting with witchdoctors, which worsens the patient’s condition.
- Avoid all forms of stigma because mental illness is a disease

Learn to handle people with mental illnesses

Related articles

More From The Author

More From The Author