Susan Nyamangodo Post Correspondent
MANICALAND Province is in desperate need for a psychiatric unit following an increase in reported cases of mental illness to more than 2 500 per month.
The closure of Sakubva Provincial Psychiatric Hospital in 2014 left the province without a unit to treat psychiatric patients.
Manicaland provincial mental health co-coordinator Dr Phillip Mukorombindo said the province is incapacitated to attend to mental health cases as there is no place to treat them.
“Manicaland is recording the largest number of mental cases in the country, yet the province does not have a psychiatric unit. There are a number of 1 000 mental cases reported in Chipinge District, a figure which might be underestimated,” he said.
He said there was no psychiatrist working in public institutions and the situation was being exacerbated by a shortage of mental health nurses as the province only has 19.
“There is also a shortage of relevant staff to attend to the thousands of cases every month. Mutare provincial hospital alone is attending to over a thousand of patients every month,” he said.
Dr Mukorombindo added that the challenge requires both Government intervention and support from development partners.