Makueni County Director of Medical Services, Dr Kiio Ndolo, has urged to take persons suffering from mental health illness to hospitals for treatment reminding them the condition is not witchcraft and is treatable through conventional medication.
He revealed that the county has enough medical personnel besides provision of drugs that are used to treat the people suffering from mental health illness.
“Mental health is not witchcraft and people should bring the persons suffering from the disease to hospital. We have enough counsellors and psychiatrists at community level who can attend you professionally,” Dr Ndolo said during the celebration of World Mental Day at Emali Bus Park.
He further said that people suffering from mental health in the developing countries have been neglected, and therefore not prioritised as primary health noting according to statistics, only 1 person out of 10 mentally ill persons gets treatment.
Ndolo disclosed that the county has been selected to pilot on primary health care where community health strategists will map all households with primary needs so as to access medical services.
“Our community strategists will move from house to house to map out on primary needs and they will be assisted,” added Ndolo.
The Theme of this year is “Mental Health in unequal World”
Speaking at the same event, Mrs Nazi Kivutha attributed the rise of mental health cases to drug and substance abuse amongst the youth in the county.
While blaming parents for abdicating their responsibilities to their children, she challenged them to take care of the children in order to curb some of the rising cases of mental health in the county.
“For a long time, parents have been ignoring and neglecting their children who are abusing drugs instead of guiding and correcting them,” she posed.
At the same time, Mrs Kivutha asked the County Government to construct a rehabilitation centre to help the youth who are the most affected by the disease.
“It has become expensive taking persons suffering from mental health to Nairobi, Kiambu and Nyeri to access treatment yet we have experts who can be utilised here,” said Mrs Kivutha.
On her part, the Makueni Deputy Governor, Adelina Mwau, said that the County Government has been prioritising mental care and they are developing a Psychiatrist Unity at the Makueni County Referral Hospital.
Further, she said that the government has also set aside some money to support the treatment of mental health patients in the county. However, she did not disclose the amount.
The Deputy Governor who is also the acting Executive Committee Member (ECM) of Health, said mental cases increased during the covid-19 period and promised that they will ensure the problem is eradicated completely.
“Mental well being is an important factor of production and it should be taken care of at home and work place,” said Mwau.
By Patrick Nyakundi and Ronald Rono