Sunday, June 23, 2024

Over a million Zambians suffer from mental illness


Latest statistics have revealed that more than a million Zambians suffer from mild and acute mental illness.

Mental Health Users Network of Zambia National Coordinator Dr. Caroline Kaunda cited abuse, violence, poverty and disease as some of the major causes of mental illness.

Dr. Kaunda told ZANIS in an interview that mental illness may lead some patients to be careless in their sexual behavior thereby fueling the spread of the HIV and AIDS pandemic.

She disclosed that in recognition of this, the Mental Health Users Network will soon open a Voluntary Counseling and Testing Centre (VCT) at Chinama Hills Clinic.

Dr. Kaunda has since urged members of public to desist from sexually abusing mental patients.

Mental Health Users Network of Zambia is found in five provinces of the country except in Eastern, Northern, Luapula and Western provinces.


  1. I’m absolutely sure, I’m not one of the million!! Is Dr Kaunda herself a mental health patient? And, excuse me but, how do you open a VOLUNTARY Counseling and Testing Center for mental health patients? I thought you literally have to drag these guys to the nearest hospital otherwise they won’t go on their own…and in severe cases these patients have no faculties to realize on their own that those services are available around them anyway!!! Now, is that VOLUNTARY?
    Do these views I’m expressing may be indicate my degree of insanity or the severity of my mental illness? You never know…!! Okay, let me shut up!!!

  2. Wow, so all the mental patients must trek to Lusaka to receive counselling? Everything centers around Lusaka, its no wonder the population in the capital is skyrocketing without a corresponding increase in infrastructure.

  3. Over a million potential patients? I guess that would require a lot of funding, wouldn’t it? You know, the way ‘20% of the population is HIV positive’ would require millions in funding too?

    This is the way ‘healthcare’ individuals fund their clinics nowadays – ensure some money is made available, by massively overstating the threat.

    If she didn’t claim there wer a million potential patients out there, she wouldn’t get much money for an out of sight subject like mental health, now would she? Reader beware of health claims, when money is involved.

  4. The doc is right, if we compare psychological problems most Zambians are having are experiencing to those in most European countries, half the population of us Zambians really need psychological help. Poverty has pushed a lot of people to unbelievable mental challenges

  5. Mental health is usually neglected in poor countries like ours. The first patient should be King Cobra and Guy Scot. these guys exhibit high level of loss of some mental faculty….

  6. It seems we are now diagonizing each other.May be a little bit more of introspection about ourselves and those close to us is needed.

  7. MENTAL HEALTH is not a separate entity. HEALTH is described as the PHYSICAL & MENTAL WELL BEING of a person, others extend to include the SOCIAL WELL BEING too. You can thus appreciate that being Healthy may be a relative thing, more so of the Mental aspect.
    A person with lots of social & financial problems may feel that people after him, in this instant, it is expected, whilst one with similiar thoughts but without a genuine reason why people are after them, is out of character. Both are indeed mentally stressed, and in a sense not healthy. The former has a better prognosis in that once problems sorted, person gets better, whilst latter has poor long term prognosis, thus higher morbidity.

  8. Thus stats need to be in the right context, thus with all the problems in Z, not surprising that persons may be over diagnosed or vice versa.

  9. Foolishness! Pure propaganda here. Just because I and I flash my dreadlocks in town and satta massagana with me bredren up Bobo hill don’t mean that we are lunatics, ya hear Caroline? FYI de pharisees also accused Yeshua of being insane and demon possessed!

  10. we need more info
    it might be true but am not one of them and atleast my provinces are not there that is Laupula and Eastern of course Lusaka is there bcoz of viba Toga just kidding but this is funny

  11. #8 and #12 i agree with you,if there are alot of lunatics there it explains why Mwanawasa didnt fire his cousin shakafuwaswa,coz he is also crazy to let someone degrade our women like that. #12 Brethren i and i got dem dreads,and dem folish bald heads in de streets of lusaka used to think am grazy

  12. in fact, what’s more crazy then my dreads is spending lots of kwacha on wigs, chemicals to burn your hair straight so you can look like something you saw on tv. and donating pins to the barber every week to make you bald.

  13. 1 million = 10 % of Zambian population. Only a mentally disturbed person can imagine that the counting is sane. I think the count includes people like our #16 Kansas. And that Dr.Caroline Kaunda need to undergo serious mental diagnosis.

  14. 1 in 6 people in the UK has some form of mental health problem.This is an issue which is largely neglected in most developing nations possibly due to lack of resources to diagnose and treat or manage the problem.
    Mental health can vary from stress to acute Schizophrenia and usually can be treated through anti-psychotic medication or simply change of environmental factors like finding a home,job etc.
    Community and Family knowledge,involvement and empathy is a starting point in the treatment process as most mental health problems can be treated permanently.

  15. #2, you are entirely sane. My only fear is that the advocate (Dr Kaunda herself) 4 these Voluntary Counseling and Testing (walk-in)Centre maybe a mental case herself going with her reasoning and ignorance of the illness itself. She seems to think mental illness is the same as malaria.

  16. However, poverty is mainly contributing to these statistics. Lack of any means to control ones economic affairs can with no doubt lead to insanity.

  17. Sure Ba Google #22, you are found everywhere. Addiction to blogging can lead to hell madness. The problem is that 90 % of blogger comments are never expressed in a sincere manor. The way 3 people above have been commenting, if they went back to Zambia this month, they would find themselves at Chainama Mental hospital. Avoid blogging if you are not sure of you mind, and let me end here because blogging with insane (Amashilu), people might not notice the difference..

  18. I woudn’t doubt that statistic, Our people need serious help and prayers!!

    If you can chill as they call it, from 9am till drop down. That is insane!!

  19. I assume these are the chaps that the MMD has retained on the Voters’ role with the help of NIKUV. How does one explain the constant votes for the MMD that translate to national suicidal policies?

  20. Interesting topic. I think we need to differenciate here. Everyone may have a form of “insanity” which manifests itself in some actions like the ones described by #26 and #22, but that does not mean they are mentally ill. I also think 1 million is exaggerated. Anyhow, I wonder what state of mind I’m in.

  21. I agree with NO:2(Kokoliko). How can ONE open a Voluntary Counselling and Testing Unit and expect Mentally Retarded guys to voluntary go there. The perso who suggested this is mad himself or herself. Mad people need to be dragged there by force. So instead, they should open a BY FORCE COUNSELLING AND TESTING UNIT for the insane. That is why it is difficult to know who is sane or insane in Zambia. Almost each one has a small degree of madness or stupidiness.
    Here on Planet Mars, everybody is SANE!!

  22. Poverty has driven people into insanity i would not get surprised that majority are in the CB.However things are improving there coz the mines are picking up.However people there should not just want to become miners.Let them do some farming as well

  23. I am not surprised that most people want to get into mining! To raise 1m USD via maize production, you will need to produce about 4,000 tons of maize! But from Copper, you only need 125 tons! To produce 4000 tons of maize, you will need not less than 3 months of growing period. For Copper, only 8 hours with explosives, an excavator, dump truck etc. This is why most of us are agrieved by the mmd’s decision to run away from mining and giving these mines to foreigners. Mining MUST be at the centre of our nation if we are to use our comperative and competitive advantage.

    I am not saying that our peasant farmers must stop growing maize, no!

  24. This does not come as a suprise, among these include Chiluba, Levy, Sata Chiefs Mbezeni, Nkomesha and Puta.

  25. Zambia is essentially a failed state, and a huge crime scene since 1991!!

    Among those leading as mental invalids are the numerous MMD supporters who fail to see Zambia being larger than their small tummies.

  26. Mmmmhh…#31, looks like you have just given me the blueprint to becoming a millionaire. Now I know where to start. So long useless bloggers!!!

  27. Dr. Kaunda is a “former” chainama patient. I worked at Chainama and she used to come for “counselling”. I am damn serious about this.

  28. I agree #36, I remember she was mentally unstable afew years back, Iam not sure about now. Maybe after undergoing therapy , she wants to help others!

  29. #17 nkani yamba kosa manje, i dont think am counted in your 10%, maybe you did not understand what we are saying,i will repeat what i has said,for shakafuswa who is a government official and a cousin to mwanawasa to come out crazy to say women should be slauhterd like animals when having sex and later on he apologised though not fired,so why are you on the side of shakafuswa and mwanawasa who say crazy things,craziness to me does not only apply to those roaming around bins,it includes even those who can find themselves roaming the internet or parliament house collecting prostitutes like your friend shakafuswa. and 1million only equals 10% if you believe old skewed census figures

  30. Nine Chale:

    Nice that I helped you think. You must not focus on yourself only, look at the massive poor majority that the MMD are exploiting with their foreign associates in crime.

  31. One step ahead.
    That sounds serious anyway.You know what?I don’t even know whether the dudes who rape 4months and the like babies/children even go under psychological scrutiny before facing the rath of the judge.Signs and symptoms of the process include;lack of knowledge in the importance of psychological services,lack of the concerned dudes to educate the masses that psychology is a mental disorder but any one might pass thru due to pressure/stress,loss of loved ones,loss of job,accident/trauma,genetic just to mention a few.No body has ever taken into consideration as to why banthu ba gona tubana,imbwa,nkhuku and the like.
    Please educate the masses.Whenever one hears about China oops ….

  32. cont;;
    Chainama,they always think of ukupenafye.Due to our culture as well,the psychological screening and coucelling should be taken systemically so as to let people accept it as part of life and not a taboo or an abomination.
    Even simple “burning out” needs much of such services coz the aftermath could be incredible.
    Fellow zedians,let support the system and not think bafuna che kupanga ma hafu.Take it to ya heart why are we dying in large numbers even after knowing what HIV is?Just why?psyc ,religion,culture,politics and all need to join hands together to fight this Pandemic.
    Mulimu abe nimina,mulungu adalitse,lesa apale,Leza ube ngumwe,God bless

  33. I agree with Mwinga, contributions on this forum supports the findings. Is it Zambians as those who live in Zambia or Zambians as in everyone? I think those of us who out of Zambia are sine. lol

  34. While the whole contribution sounds good,but how do you counsel the mentally ill person,i think Dr kaunda must have a good rapor with this.

  35. I totally agree with the doc…ther is a sharp rise in:
    1. Incest 2.Defilement 3. Excessive beer drinking 4. Road accidents due to insanity 5.political hooliganism e.g Shakafoolwa and M’longo Tea 6. LT bog contributors etc.
    Do you agree with me that these need counselling?

  36. the average zambian is so stressed!putting food on the table,clothes on our backs and a roof over our heads is more difficult than ever before.It should therefore follow that stress induced mental imbalances will be on the increase!Gone are the days of the simple diagnosis of a mentally ill person being standing outside Shoprite chewing newspapers!!We have to start looking at work-life balance and realise that this balance is not achieved thru’ being in pubs everyday or chasing skirts/trousers at every opportunity.We need to spend more time with our families to survive!!

  37. I heard Dr Kaunda on the BBC Worldservice today, and therefore thought I’d seek her out on the internet. Alas I found this blog…and if ignorance about mental illness in the general population is a significant factor, then some of the contributors to this blog are simply mindless themselves.
    Why is it that when someone like Dr Kaunda chooses to highlight a problem in society, so many people like to bury their heads in sand purely because it doesn’t affect them.
    As a blogger, let alone an internet user from Africa where the vast majority of people don’t have this privilege, surely you could contribute something more substantial than this.
    I am somewhat ashamed of my African roots…

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