State to take over Mathari hospital as mental illnesses increase during the pandemic

Saturday, June 20th, 2020 17:48 |
Mathari Mental Hospital. Photo/Courtesy

The State is taking full control of Mathari Mental Referral hospital in Mathare to address increasing cases of mental illnesses during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman said Saturday mental cases are increasing alarmingly hence necessiating capacity expansion.

The century-old facility is the country's sole referral hospital for mental healthcare. Mathari Hospital was built in 1910 and has remained in the same state ever since.

"We are transforming Mathari hospital into a semi-autonomous government agency or a parastatal to provide specialized care, training and research in mental health," Said Rashid.

The CAS said mental health patients are more vulnerable to contracting Covid-19. He confirmed 104 new coronavirus cases and 36 new discharges. Total cases are now at 4478 while recoveries stand at 1586.

Health Ministry Director-General Patrick Amoth said since they established a 24-hour call center for mental queries, youths have been calling in seeking counselling.

"Many youths have been calling our hotline number(1199719) day and night seeking counselling services.

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