• Health CS Sicily Kariuki said the rising cases of mental sickness were worrying.
• “Data indicate that out of four people seeking treatment in our hospitals one is suffering from mental disorder,” Sicily says.
Twenty-five per cent of patients seeking treatment in hospitals are suffering from mental disorder, statistics from the Ministry of Health show.
The Ministry said it will upgrade and rehabilitate Mathari and Gilgil mental hospitals to address the situation. The two hospitals are in deplorable conditions.
Health CS Sicily Kariuki said the rising cases of mental sickness were worrying.
“Data indicate that out of four people seeking treatment in our hospitals one is suffering from mental disorder,” Sicily said.
She spoke after touring the Gilgil Mental Hospital. She promised to send two teams to access the situation of the facility that has 87 patients.
“The drugs used by mental patients are very expensive but the national government will make sure that this facility has enough supply,” she said.
The CS said the facility was wanting. The ministry was keen to partner with the county government to address the situation, she said.
“We have formed two teams to address the issue of drug supply and staffing and another one to look into infrastructure and other challenges."
The CS said they will engage the Council of Governors to ensure mental disorder was placed under the Universal Health Care programme.
“We cannot achieve UHC without addressing mental illness,” Sicily said.
She said she was concerned the number of mental patients abandoned in the hospital was rising, saying stigmatisation remained a challenge in addressing the condition.
“There are some patients who have been abandoned for over 20 years and it’s time the relatives embraced this condition because it is curable,” Sicily said.
Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui said that the county was spending Sh20 million every year to improve the facility. He said the demand was taxing.
He called on the national government to assist the facility by suppling medical equipment, employing workers and rehabilitating buildings.
The governor said most of the patients were affected by drug and alcohol abuse. He said family negligence was a big challenge.
“There is currently no funding for mental facilities and this has forced the county to dig deeper to support this facility,” Kinyanjui said.
Edited by Peter Obuya