Current Affairs

Butabika Hospital overwhelmed by soaring cases of mental health

Butabika Hospital main gate. The hospital is overwhelmed with surging cases related to mental illnesses. Photo/Courtest

Kampala, (UG):- The management of Butabika National Referral Mental Hospital has expressed concerns over the increased influx and congestion of mental health patients at the facility contrary to available manpower handling them.

According to Ms Juliet Nakku, the Executive Director of the Hospital, the ever increasing number of mental health cases is worrying compared to the psychiatrists available.

“The hospital is supposed to accommodate 550 patients but currently we accommodate 2000, with few doctors on government payroll,” Ms Nakku said.

She revealed this during the awarding ceremony of 372 students who completed their certificates and diplomas at Butabika School of Psychiatric Nursing School on March 25, 2024.

Ms Nakku explained that statistics indicate that the country is grappling with a huge burden of mental health problems that are largely unattended to among children, adolescents and adults.

“Recent study done by Ministry of Health together with Makerere University shows that one in three individuals suffer a mental health problem and the main causes of mental problem include anxiety, depression and alcohol,” she said.

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Ms Nakku also urged the government to upgrade the quality of the Psychiatric Nurses in the country.

“We want Butabika Psychiatric Nurse Training School to offer a Bachelor‘s Degree in Psychiatric nursing such that ours can also compete at the international level,” she said.

Ms Harriet Kwagala, the Principal of Butabika School of Psychiatric Nursing, said that drugs, alcohol and depression are the main causes of mental illness among adolescents and adults.

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“The biggest percentage of the tutors is not on government payroll and this impacts the quality of the training of a cadre that is supposed to take care of life,” she added.

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