Mental Illness Cases in Kabale on the Rise

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As Uganda joined the whole world to commemorate World Mental Health Day today, medical workers at Kabale Regional Referral hospital are worried about the rise in mental cases.

According to the records obtained from Kabale hospital mental health department show that in September this year, a total of 73 mental cases patients were admitted at the facility and per now a total of 33 patients were admitted at the facility.

A senior Psychiatrist Clinical Officer at Kabale Regional Referral Hospital Johnson Bitungwa attributes the rise in mental illness to alcoholism, drug abuse mostly marijuana, depression, poverty, accidents, disease such as epilepsy, domestic violence which he said it usually under comes due intense stress, something she says comes as a result of domestic tribulations.

Bitungwa explains that out of the 73 mental cases registered in September, in 28 patients it was caused by alcohol abuse, 19 caused by abuse of drugs while in 38 patients it was caused by depression.

Batungwa calls for intensive sensitization among members of the public to raise awareness on mental illness. He also wants government to regulate the sale of alcohol consumption and growing of marijuana, which is common in the Kigezi region. Batungwa also warns the youth against alcoholism and drug abuse.

The day was celebrated under the theme: young people and mental health in a changing world. According to the World Health Organization, it was estimated that in 2001 mental disorders contributed 12% of the global burden of disease and it is predicted that this will rise to 15% by the year 2020.

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