Mental health care is an area given very little attention in many communities in Uganda. Often people associate mental illness with witchcraft and divination which can unfortunately lead to stigmatisation of patients with mental illness in the communities they live in, and even within their own families. This in turn means that too often these individuals do not seek mental health professional services.
Photo of team from left: Abner & Jackline (Psychiatric Nurses), Enock (Psychologist) and Derric (Psychiatry Clinical Officer).
Kiwoko Hospital is a ‘game-changer’ in mental health care through the Mental Health Clinic at the hospital. This serves a wide geographical area including Nakaseke, Luweero and Nakasongola Districts. This is a busy clinic, with the team seeing 70-100 patients weekly in the clinics (new and review patients). In fact, to-date the clinic has enrolled more than 1000 patients who receive free assessment, diagnosis, treatment and psychotherapy care. Through this arrangement a number of patients who suffer from mental health problems have registered success stories and are currently productive in community.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people who suffer from mental illness both major and minor, outpatients and inpatients increased. Increased mental health challenges have also been noticed in pregnant women and mothers. This has resulted in involvement in risky behaviours, including increased rates of smoking and alcohol intake. Unfortunately the number of people attempting suicide has increased, and yet others have completed suicide.
The Good News
- The Mental Health Team continues to be committed to care, create awareness, and manage patients with mental health challenges.
- A structure has been built to serve as a mental health clinic, improving our services. Special thanks to the donors for the support.
- Medications have continuous supply for patients who need them.
We give thanks to the Lord Jesus for the blessing that as team we can still be a blessing.