The one year fundraising drive that will start this financial year will include several activities such as corporate dinners, marathons, contributions, from the private sector, individuals as well as government to rise at least 1.2 billion shillings.
Dr. David Bisangwa, the executive director Butabika Mental Referral Hospital told URN in an exclusive interview that the rehab Unit can only accommodate 28 patients yet they receive more than 40 people in need of rehabilitation service each day.
He says families are increasingly taking their children to the hospital for rehabilitation. Dr. Bisangwa however says many of these are treated as outpatients due to lack of sufficient space in the rehab unit.
He says in a bid to admit more patients, Butabika Mental Referral Hospital has embarked on a fundraising drive to raise money to expand the rehab unit to accommodate at least 60 patients.
According to Dr. Bisangwa, they have lined up several activities such as corporate dinners, marathons and contributions from the private sector, individuals as well as government to rise at least 1.2 billion shillings.
The hospital has so far collected four million Shillings mainly from well-wishers.
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Most of the patients admitted in the rehab unit are treated for alcohol and drug addiction. According to Dr. Bisangwa, drug addiction is a complex illness characterized by intense and, at times uncontrollable drug craving.
He adds that while the path to drug addiction begins with the voluntary act of taking drugs, over time a person's ability to choose not to do so becomes compromised.
He says that most of the drug addicts need rehabilitation services that last between three to six months for one to fully recover.
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According to a Health Management Information System Surveillance report on alcohol and drug released this year, the highest consumption of alcohol and drug abuse are in the central region at 39%, northern region at 24.2%, eastern at 20%, western at 17%.
The report also indicates that more than 57,000 were alcohol cases and more than 27,000 drug abuse cases.
Dr. Bisangwa says that at least 30% of these drug abuse cases end up as drug addicts left with no option but rehabilitation.
According to Ministry of Health, drugs that are commonly abused in Uganda include; alcohol, marijuana, and khat (mairungi).
While these are locally produced, the report also indicates an increase in the use of drugs such as cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines. Other drugs commonly abused are prescription medicines including pethidine, a pain killer and Ephedrine.