Mulanje Commemorates Mental Health Day
As the world is commemorating International Human Rights Day today, Malawi Council for the Handicapped (MACOHA) has called for care and protection of persons with mental illness.
MACOHA Acting Executive Director Georgina Navicha said it is unfortunate that people with mental illness are subjected to various forms of stigma and discrimination yet mental illness is just like any other illness.
“Access to medical health and care is a human right and any patient including a mentally sick person has a human rights that need to be respected,” said Navicha
Mental Health Coordinator at Mulanje district hospital Harvey Mankhwala said there is a significant increase on the number of mental illness cases attended to at the district hospital.
Mankhwala said last month alone they attended to 171 psychosis cases.
“I can say that these cases are on the increase because of intensified sensitization meetings on mental health by NGOs where guardians and communities are advised to take mental illness cases to health facilities,” said Mankhwala.
Chairperson of Mulanje District Council Councilor Isaac Blazio said the mental health open day was an eye opener to the council as that was the first of its kind.
“We need to sit down as the council to see how best we can mainstream mental health in our programs, but this was a good event,” said Councilor Blazio.
The event was held under the theme; “mental health promotion and suicide prevention”.