The Research in Mental Health in the University of Zambia (UNZA) school of medicine at Ridgeway Campus says there some factors that contribute to relapses in mentally ill patients such as the ones at Chainama Hills Hospital in Lusaka.
According to a recent research done by Doctor Lonia Mwape, mental health challenges affecting most patients could be attributed lack of knowledge and attitude by some nurses in hospital.
Dr. Mwape also revealed that some family care givers especially in Lusaka, discriminate their relatives suffering from mental illness by failing to accept or to cope with the situation due to lack of knowledge.
She further observed that attitude from the community perceptions towards people with mental challenge was also a major concern
Dr. Mwape however suggested that there four priority areas which needed to be worked on in view to end discrimination and mistreating of person suffering from mental health challenges in Zambia.
She mentioned that among the four priory areas is the wellbeing of the patients in workplaces , mental health in prison , safe motherhood and HIV/ AIDS.
The mental health technocrat who presented her findings at the five day Technical Working Group on Mental Health in Chilanga which ended last Friday, , has since called for intensified efforts towards conducting mental health research in Zambia which can only be archived through creating an environmental that motivates people to undertake research.
She said by involving relevant stakeholders in planning for mental health research will yield fruits.
The Mental Health Research health in Zambia is a UNZA project sponsered by Leeds Beckett and the aim of the project is to strengthen mental health research in Zambia which will run up for three years.
And Mental health specialist Joseph Mayeya has noted that mental disorders carry a substantially increased mortality from suicide which is similar in magnitude to those from accidents and also with infectious, respiratory , cardiovascular disease and malignancy problems.
Mr. Mayeya said mental disorders also impact on the survival of the off spring such as depression among mothers markedly increases the risk for malnutrition in children , impacting both mother and child mortality.
He observed that people with mental illness or epilepsy , especially women are more vulnerable to abuse such as sexual abuse, putting them at higher risk for contracting and spreading HIV.
He however said , in Zambia mental health services has since undergone a process of reforming the current operational environment such as mental health policy which was approved in 2005, the National Health Services strategic plan (2011- 2016) and the sixth national development plan (2011- 2016) which as also been integrated in all the clinical technical guidelines ..