Surging mental health disorders raise alarm – Kenya News Agency
Grim psychological well being statistics proceed to stalk Taita Taveta County’s healthcare panorama, based on a survey launched this week by a multi-sectoral job pressure established throughout COVID-19 to handle the excessive prevalence of melancholy and different psychosocial circumstances.
Information launched by the taskforce present that psychological well being problems elevated from 2, 152 circumstances in 2021 to three,174 circumstances in 2022; a rising development that healthcare stakeholders say needs to be arrested earlier than it turns right into a pandemic.
“We can’t sit fairly whereas a silent pandemic within the making is brewing in our communities and threatens the very foundations of our healthcare methods,” warns Eva Mwandembo, the County psychological well being, and GBV coordinator.
Rebecca Macharia, a psychologist at Mwatate Sub-County Hospital, says that the numbers have been merely the tip of an iceberg as they represented reported circumstances whereas hundreds extra went unreported.
She attributes the depressed reporting to the social and cultural connotations about psychological well being, a precedent that has prevented sufferers and their kin from searching for medical assist.
“Communities right here consider psychological well being problems are attributable to sorcery. Due to this fact, sufferers and their households shrink back from visiting psychological well being services for assist,” says Ms. Macharia.
Whereas there are concerted efforts each from the nationwide and county governments to categorize psychological well being problems as mainstream medical circumstances, Ms. Macharia admits that there’s a lot of floor to be lined when it comes to monetary help, consciousness, and recruiting skilled human assets.
Related requires the combination of psychological well being care with basic well being providers have been made by Carol Ngari, USAID Stawisha Pwani Technical officer for HIV testing providers, who stated that such an method would create an efficient and environment friendly technique in caring for and supporting sufferers.
On the nationwide stage, the federal government is guided by the Kenya Psychological Well being Motion Plan (2021-2025), a Ministry of Well being (MoH) blueprint on interventions for securing psychological well being methods reforms within the nation.
At the moment, MoH knowledge signifies that one in each 4 folks searching for well being providers within the nation has a psychological well being situation. Despair has been marked as probably the most prevalent as a consequence of alcohol and substance abuse within the backdrop of robust financial instances precipitated by COVID-19 and the continued harsh drought in most elements of Kenya.
Whereas psychological well being doesn’t get pleasure from an unique funds allocation from the exchequer, the State established a Psychological Well being Taskforce in 2020 and continues implementing a litany of reforms to enhance prevention, therapy, and take care of folks with psychological well being issues.
By Arnold Linga Masila