By Daniel Nsengimana
KIRSORO: Mental health expert at Kisoro Hospital has expressed that more than 410 people in Kisoro district are depending on medication for mental health related illnesses.
Stephen Irakiza says the number of patients were documented in the months of July, August and September.
He says that patients who are admitted at the hospital are mostly those who attempted to commit suicide but failed.
Majority of the outpatients who visit Kisoro hospital on a daily basis come looking for antipsychotic medication used to treat various conditions including Depression, Alcoholism, Epilepsy, HIV Psychosis and schizophrenia among others.
Uganda joined the rest of the world on Monday to commemorate World Mental Health Day, under the theme, Making Mental Health and Well-being for all a Global priority.
Irakiza says more people are suffering silently in the villages, unaware of how to access mental health services because they have been stigmatized and sidelined.
He explains that cases of suicide have become so rampant, not only in Kisoro district but throughout the entire Kigezi region.
Cases of Domestic Violence, Homicide and Alcoholism are documented daily in news reports across the region.
Suicide cases leave harrowing scars on families and societies.
A damning report by the World Health Organization places Africa as the leading continent in the world with the most suicide cases.
The report states that around 11 people per 100,000 per year die by suicide in the African region, higher than the global average of nine per 100 000 people.
Uganda is among six countries in Africa with the highest suicide rates worldwide.
The common means of suicide in the region are hanging and pesticide self-poisoning and to a lesser extent drowning, use of a firearm, jumping from a height or medication overdose.
A source at Kisoro Police Station says, no cases of attempted suicide have been reported. This means, Police are unable to prevent unnecessary loss of life.
However, Pastor at Kisoro Christian Center (KCC) says many suffering people require counseling and support.
According to Tukamuhebwa, the biggest causes of stress in homes are financial constraints and prolonged illnesses that leave people divided and desperate for solutions.
He advises that people need to find more time to reflect on their life choices in order to develop meaningful and lasting relationships where they can find relief and solace in turbulent times.
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