GULU, UGANDA: Gulu district has registered 3,484 cases of mental illness in the last nine months.
The statistics from the district health department were recorded between July 2021 and March 2022 from the different health facilities.
According to the statistics, Awach sub county registered the highest number with 1,045 cases, 615 from Palaro sub county, and 394 from Paicho sub county.
The other sub-counties include Omel with 383, Unyama 369, Owoo 213, Patiko 129, Owalo 118, Bungatira 115, Pukony 103, and Paibona with no cases.
The cases include anxiety disorder (213), bipolar disorder (206), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder-PTSD (185), Schizophrenia (32), and HIV-related psychosis (25). Others include alcohol use disorder, anxiety disorder due to Gender Based Violence-GBV, alcohol demetria and adult mental conditions.
The statistics further indicate that 73% of the cases were in adults aged 20 years and above (55% were female and 18% female), 22% were people aged 10 to 19 years (12% female and 9% male), 3% were children between 5 and 9 years while 2% were children between 29 days old and four years.
Yoweri Idiba, the Assistant Gulu District Health Officer says that the cases shot up during the Covid-19 pandemic which forced people to resort to alcohol and drug abuse as well as abandoning treatment during the lockdown.
Dominic Orlando Opep, a youth leader in Gulu wants stakeholders to enhance guidance and counseling, and support for young people. He also urged young people to desist from abusing alcohol and other toxic substances.
In Gulu city, a 30-year-old man identified as Simon Peter Akena on Saturday committed suicide by hanging himself in his room.
Family members say that the deceased had been battling domestic violence with his wife who had also quit the marriage.
Denis Obal, an elder brother to the deceased says that Akena left behind a suicidal note quoting from the book of Ecclesiastes Chapter Four Verses one and two of the Holy Bible which talks about oppression, toil, and friendlessness under the sun.
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