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Increased Mental Health Cases Worry Authorities in Chikwawa

Health authorities at Ngabu Rural Hospital in Chikwawa have complained of increasing cases of mental health as statistics indicate that they treat 280 patients every month.

In-charge of the facility Prince Kachika told Zodiak Online on Monday afternoon that most of patients are those suffering from epilepsy inherited from parents or caused by severe malaria.

Kachika further stated that other people are in this situation due alcohol and drug abuse.

"There are several factors, but I think more something needs to be done to control excessive beer drinking and chamba smoking (Indian hemp)," Kachika said.

Police and social welfare office in the area have also been sensitizing people against alcohol and drug abuse but the situation is still bad.

Recently, Chikwawa Health Officer, Dr Stalin Zinkanda, told Minster of Health and Population, Mr Jappie Mhango, when he visited Ngabu rural, that the district has only two psychiatric clinicians yet the district records many cases of mental illnesses because of various factors, including HIV/Aids.

Dr Zinkanda appealed to the minister to send more health workers in the district so as to have quality health services.

"As you can see minister, there a lot of patients here. We need more staff to improve health delivery,” the DHO said.

Minister Mhango assured the people in the area that government will do everything possible to make sure that adequate health workers and ambulances are available in remote health facilities including Ngabu rural hospital.

The minister also took time to thank non-state actors like Aids Health Care Foundation, AHF for supporting government in rehabilitating health facilities, provide water supply and recruiting 30 health workers that have been deployed in various hospital in impact districts of Lilongwe,  Dedza,  Ntcheu and Chikwawa.

"We call upon other stakeholders to emulate the gesture and make sure that people lives are improved," Minister Mhango said.

Ngabu rural hospital which is now wearing a new face after being renovated by AHF serves a population of over 73, 000.

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