By Jonas Nyasulu
Zomba Mental Hospital is in need of more Psychiatrics as currently the country’s only mental referral hospital has only one Psychiatrics officer, a development which is hampering the fight against mental health issues, the hospital’s authorities have said.
The hospital’s public relations officer, Harry Kawiya has told us as of May 9, 2022, the hospital has a total of 378 clients.
Kawiya said the one psychiatrist the hospital is not corresponding to the number clients, saying that one psychiatrist cannot see 378 in-patient clients.
“It is not possible for one psychiatrist to attend to 378 clients. There is need for this hospital to have more psychiatrists so that patients should be adequately and properly attended to,” he said, adding that one psychiatrist can attend to at least 100 in-patient clients.
The hospital’s publicist has since called on the government to support those that have shown interest in specializing in psychiatrics saying that stigma is currently high in mental health, which he said, makes many people not to specialize in this kind of profession.
One of the students pursuing Bachelor of Science in psychiatrics at the St. Johns of God in Mzuzu, Marko Ndhlovu concurred with Kawiya that there is indeed shortage of psychiatrists in the country to attend to people suffering from mental health disorders such as acute schizophrenia, depression and mood disorders, among others.
“I chose this program in order to add up to the few mental health officers the country has so that I should help people with mental illnesses,” Ndhlovu said.
Ndhlovu has since urged fellow youths in the country to pursue a career in Psychiatrics so that the country should be able to fight mental health illnesses.