President Edgar Lungu has called for the observance and respect of human rights of people living with mental illness. President Lungu says as the people living with mental illness are human beings like the able bodied, there is need for the general citizenry to embrace them too as they have equal rights like any other person.
President Lungu said it is for this reason that his administration remains resolute in ending any form of discrimination against mental patients in Zambia.
The Head of State said this yesterday when he was in the company of Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya toured Chainama Hills Mental Hospital.
Mr. Lungu explained that government will give prominence to the fight against the fight of diseases including mental health diseases in the country.
And 32 percent of the patients admitted at the facility are as a result of alcohol and other substance abuse, it has been learnt.
Revealing this during President Lungu’s tour ,Chainama Hills Mental Hospital Senior Medical Superintendent Margaret Chibowa said facility is grappling with a number of cases resulting from alcohol abuse mainly among the youths.
Dr. Chibowa said alcohol abuse cases has in the recent past become one of the major challenges facing her facility thereby needing urgent attention from government.
“Most of the patients we have here suffer from different disorders that are as a result of depression disorders, drugs and alcohol abuse, “ said Dr Chibowa.
The Senior Medical Superintendent underscored that the hospital built in 1962 has dilapidated infrastructure, but was quick to say that the Ministry of Health has embarked on the serious modernization process of the institute.
Senior Medical Superintendent Your Excellence the hospital which was built in 1962 has dilapidated infrastructure.
“We are however , happy to note that the Ministry of Health has come on our side to mordenise it and we are grateful that you came through to support us,” she said.
The President interacted with patients among them 81 year old Edson Ngoma who has been at the institute since 1968 and later donated assorted food stuffs.