The Human Rights Commission (HRC) says there is need to decentralise psychiatric services to all provincial centres and districts in the country.
Commission Information Officer Simon Mulumbi says provision of psychiatric services is being hampered by inadequate infrastructure and accommodation in rural parts of Zambia, hence the need to decentralise operations in order to enhance service delivery.
Mr Mulumbi says demand for persons accessing mental health has drastically increased, hence the need to roll out the services to the districts and provinces.
Speaking in an interview with ZANIS in Lusaka today, Mr Mulumbi noted that officers manning correctional facilities face challenges when transporting persons who come in conflict with the law, especially in the rural parts of the country, due the absence of psychiatric services.
He was however delighted by President Lungu’s visit to Chainama Hills Mental Hospital, adding that it demonstrates government’s unwavering support to people living with mental disabilities.
Mr Mulumbi added that government has an obligation to respect, protect and fulfil the rights of persons with disabilities in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which Zambia is a member.