‘I am not happy with treatment of mental patients by Kabwe hospital’

I write to express my displeasure at the way mentally ill clients that are admitted to Kabwe General Hospital are being discriminated against. I am a paramedic with a military background working within Kabwe District.
The situation at the General Hospital’s Psychiatric section is bad. Mental illness is at various levels and affects all sectors of society. The priority of care is that if a mentally ill client comes to a health facility with a medical or surgical condition, e.g. a wound, fracture or malaria, that condition must be treated first, provided the mental illness is not interfering with such treatment. More over, all nurses, clinicians and doctors are trained in basic psychiatry so as to handle any life-threatening condition before referring to a psychiatric ward.
Basically what it means is that at Kabwe general Hospital, if you go there with a mental illness, they open a file for you and you are treated, the next time you go there with malaria, you will be sent to the Psychiatric ward. No body will be willing to attend to you at OPD (Out Patient Department).
Whilst i understand that Mental health practitioners are also trained in General Medicine and care, a frightening fact is that there is only one nurse at any given time to handle both male and female mentally ill patients at Kabwe General Hospital!
Allow me conclude by appealing to the Minister of Health to look into staffing levels at the Psychiatric unit at the general hospital because whatever time you go there you will only find one staff there and sometimes nobody with more than 15 Mentally ill patients. Let management at the hospital also ensure that mental illness is not stigmatized, because it appears even the men and women in white uniform taking care of these vulnerable people are also stigmatized as being “Mad”.
Author’s name withheld

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 12
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    yangu 5 years

    recently i was on duty night in uk 4.1.13 early hrs. A documentary came about zambia drug taking especially chibolya compound, i was really sad, i love zambia. can we please pray and start teaching on the radio and tv,If it gets out of hand they will be a lot of mental cases.

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    we hav heard so many unacceptable scenes abt u, my advice is, change for the better. hav love for othr people regardless of their mental status.

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    Alex 5 years

    I live in Kabwe and I am so disappointed with the author of this article. At the hospital, they do have a complaints’ desk which place one can lodge their complaint if dissatisfied with anything, health service delivery inclusive. If one presents to the hospital with a psychiatric problem, primarily they will have to seen from the psychiatric wing. If however, they develop any other problems, the psychiatric unit will consult the department concerned. I find the author rather uninformed and should have gone to the authorities both at the hospital of indeed the provincial health office to clarify these issues so that he/she gets the service they so dearly want! I believe we as a country can do better if only we learn build rather aim to destroy all the time we are dissatisfied with anything!

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    Judgement Day 5 years

    Your concern is valid.Suppose a stable psychiatric patient presents with a dog bite,why send him to a psych ward instead of treating him in OPD and then discharge him?The health workers are the ones who promotes stigma.With what is happening in Zambia I doubt whether anything will be done.Health PS V.Mwaba are you on reading or enjoying your air-con office?

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    Ba mwine 5 years

    it is really sickening to look at that hospital going down, the lawns are something else, come to traffic officers conduct, it is stinking the inspectors Mbaza, and lady choongo have turned the traffic office into personal business and their agents are the likes of Ka constable Muhau.. please can the command try to take these people to shang’ombo see how they will cry!

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    steve mwine 5 years

    even the dining hall for students is pathetic!!!

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    Is this supposed to be a complaint,an observation or just a comment? You have an idea of what mental illness is but perhaps its your insight which is just returning. All patients with history of mental illness are best reviewed at the psychiatric unit even when they will present with a physical illness like malaria because its there they will differenciate between malaria and hypochondriaisis(psychological malaria if you like).Do not stigmatise yourself my brother. Stigma is multidimesional and can hardly be solved by simply being treated together with regular patients.In addition the issue of staff numbers you have raised is very important but is even worse at OPD if you consider the normal Doctor/Patient ratio.

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      Stigma 5 years

      spot on saika! you are indeed in a zedian hospital.

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    silu ni silu 5 years

    As long as one of us is the King, you can stigmatise us all you while he traumatises you don’t kubeba style. Infact who is mad? One of us, or you who voted for him?

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    Abena 5 years

    MOTIVATION PANALIBE!

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    Abena 5 years

    THE MEDICAL PERSONNEL HAVE GONE MENTAL DUE TO HUNGER, HOW DO YOU EXPECT MENTAL PATIENTS TO TREAT EACH OTHER!?

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    punka punka 5 years

    sorry for that. O LORD HELP US IN SUCH MATTERS IN JESUS’ NAME