Butabika Hospital: Mental Illness on the Rise

7446 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
He explained that 20 percent of the admissions to the mental hospital are related alcohol and drug abuse.

Mental illness is on the rise across the country, Dr. David Basangwa, the executive director Butabika Hospital has warned. He attributes the rise to increased abuse of drugs and alcohol. Dr Bisangwa disclosed his while appearing before the Public Accounts Committee on Wednesday to respond to auditor queries for the 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 financial years.
He explained that 20 percent of the admissions to the mental hospital are related alcohol and drug abuse. He however, didn’t rule out malaria, HIV/Aids, psychological torture and poor parenting amongst other as contributors to the increasing cases of mental illness. Dr Basangwa told the committee that on average, Butabika hospital would receive between 6 to 10 patients daily but the number has increased to between 8 and 15 cases.

He said even the monthly enrollment is much higher than it was before. Dr Basangwasaid currently between 120 and 150 people visit the outpatient department each day compared to 80 in the past.

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When asked to explain the increased cases of mental patients cited on the streets in Butabika Uniform, Dr. Basangwa noted that the patients escape from hospital because they were taken there against their will. He explained that many of the patients think the people who take them to Butabika hospital are against them while others don’t believe they are sick and need help.

Dr. Basangwa says they do everything possible to ensure the patients don’t leave the hospital but some of them beat security and find their way on the streets.

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He appealed to communities and authorities to always return the patients cited on the streets to the hospital for treatment.


About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.