The one and only mental hospital in Kenya is locking up patients in the rooms and reducing their mobility by applying certain medications, says an advocacy group.
According to Edah Maina, the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of the Kenya Society for the Mentally Handicapped, the Mathari Psychiatric Hospital, which is one of its kinds in the entire Kenya, is brutally infringing the rights of its patients mentioned in the Constitution of the country.
The hospital staff is confining the patients inside the rooms so that they become unable to step outside. Moreover, they are using some kind of drugs for them which can steal their moving power and send them to comatose. As per the advocacy group, it is the reason for which around 40 mal patients have run away from the hospital recently.
The new constitution of Kenya identified the patients staying at the Mathari to have ‘psychosocial disabilities’. Such patients need to undergo certain rehabilitation program which does not segregate them from their family members as well as the society, said Maina. She also added that these types of patients must not be forced on to a rehab program. Rather they should have full consent to it which can keep them active and perk up their efficiency as the part of the civilization.
It is completely unethical and inhuman to make them immobilized with the use of obsolete or illicit medications and turn them into living zombies, Maina added.
Six hundred and seventy five mental patients have come across the country and admitted to the general wards of the hospital. Before a few weeks, some of them escaped.
Dr. Kisivuli Azenga, the Medical Superintendent of the Mathari Psychiatric Hospital, said that 34 of those 40 patients who fled away have been reinstated by different means. However, he could not reply when was asked about the reason of these escapes.
Maina disclosed that the hospital does not possess the required legal as well as policy structure, which can help the staff treat their patients more compassionately. She expressed her disappointment about the condition of the helpless patients at the Mathari and highlighted the fact that how the hospital is mishandling the money expended by the Government for the treating the mental health of such psychosocially disables people.
However, the Ministry of Health, Government of Kenya has refused to pass any remark regarding the condition of the Mathari Psychiatric Hospital and its patients.