Saturday, February 24, 2024

Public Protector Zambia calls for establishment of more Mental Hospitals to decongest Chainama

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The Public Protector Zambia has called upon government to establish more mental hospitals across the country to decongestant Chainama Mental Hospital.

Public Protector Caroline Sokoni said this in a speech read on her behalf by Public Protector Chief administrator Kebby Hakalima when they conducted a cleaning exercise at the hospital as part of commemorating this year’s International Women’s Day.

Ms. Sokoni noted that women are at risk of being exposed to mental breakdown due to factors such as Gender Based Violence (GBV), drug abuse and harsh economic challenges.

She has called upon cooperating partners to come on board in helping Chainama Mental Hospital address the challenges it is facing in order for the hospital to offer quality mental health services to the members of the public.

Chainama Mental Hospital Senior Medical Superintendent, Margaret Chibowa thanked the Office of the Public Protector for taking a lead in recognizing the critical role the hospital plays in offering mental health services.

Dr. Chibowa said that the infrastructure at the hospital requires urgent modernisation as it has not had a facelift since its establishment.

“The hospital has also seen an increase in the number of activities in its premises such as establishment of a university which has put pressure on the water reticulation and sewer system,” Dr. Chibowa said.

She said Chainama Hospital was established in 1962 to carter for only 500 patients but that the population has since increased to above 15,000.

Meanwhile, Ms. Sokoni expressed concern at the discrimination people with disabilities face when accessing services from public institutions.

She had since urged public institutions and officials to be inclusive and offer quality services to members of the public regardless of their status.

“The institution stands ready to move in and deal with any public official or institution that engages in any form of maladministration such as discrimination in line with the law which mandates the office of the public protector to offer added protection to vulnerable groups in society such as women, children and people with disabilities,” she warned.

The Public Protector office also conducted awareness programmes to sensitise members of staff at the hospital on issues relating to maladministration in public service delivery.

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