Health

Rundu state hospital patients bemoan sharing of ward with psychiatric patients

Summary

Patients hospitalised in the male ward of the Rundu State Hospital have expressed concern over having to share the area with close to 20 psychiatric patients owing to the lack of a proper facility to cater for the latter. The […]

Patients hospitalised in the male ward of the Rundu State Hospital have expressed concern over having to share the area with close to 20 psychiatric patients owing to the lack of a proper facility to cater for the latter.

The patients, who spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear of victimisation, bemoaned to this agency on Monday that Rundu is the town with the second highest population in the country and thus its State hospital deserves to have a facility that can house psychiatric patients.

“If the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) cannot build a mental health facility at Rundu, then at least they need to expand the hospital and build a separate mental health department where these patients will be treated,” one patient complained.

They said because the town has a large population, social ills are also on the increase in the northeastern town and that some of the psychiatric patients are hospitalized due to drug or substance abuse, which poses a threat to the other patients.

“The youth find solace in these substances and in the long run their mental health suffers. The ward is now full of these patients and we feel the ministry is working at a snail’s pace to prioritise such issues. Issues like these should not be viewed as just normal,” another concerned patient said.

Previously, a case of psychiatric patients slashing the tongue of another patient had been reported, while in 2017, two psychiatric patients allegedly assaulted another patient to death.

According to the concerned patients, they are worried that many issues of this nature could resurface and are thus calling on the responsible ministry to take action.

MoHSS Executive Director, Ben Nangombe, told Nampa on Monday that the ministry had plans to put up a Mental Health Facility at Nankudu village in the Kavango West Region in 2017 but these plans were opposed and rejected by the local community.

According to Nangombe, this mental health facility was going to cater for both Kavango regions, however the community were not happy with having such an institution in that area.

For now, Nangombe said the plans to construct the mental health facility are there, but they are long-term for the ministry.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

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