The fight against mental disorders in Nakuru County will receive a major boost, as Gilgil Mental Hospital is expected to receive a conditional grant from the national government.
This is good news for the growing population of mental health patients in the region. The grant will boost service delivery and tackle growing cases of mental disorder in the region. The facility serves the neighboring counties of Baringo, Kericho, Bomet, Narok, Nyandarua, Samburu and Laikipia.
This grant will put the hospital on par with Nakuru level five hospital in terms of national government financial assistance.
“We are pushing the national government to consider raising the Gilgil Psychiatric Hospital and increasing its financial capacity by providing it with a conditional grant. The hospital performs screening and diagnosis of mental illnesses. It also offers psychiatric and counseling services to patients across the country. “said Dr Benedict Osore, responsible for administration and planning.
The official was speaking at a recent mental health workshop organized by Midrifthurinet, a non-profit organization.
He announced that the facility will also provide education and training facilities for psychiatry students at government medical training centers, public universities as well as private hospitals and universities.
“This is the second full-fledged psychiatric and mental health facility in the country after the Mathari National Teaching and Referral Hospital and it is only fair that we get a conditional grant from the government as it receives many patients outside of Nakuru, ”said Dr Osore. .
According to health experts, the cost of treating mental illness is between 50,000 and 100,000 shillings, excluding the doctor’s consultation fee of 10,000 shillings.
He revealed that the county has seen an increase in the number of mental health patients since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Half of all mental illnesses start at age 14, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), but most cases go undetected and untreated.
Dr Osore said the county will continue to work with Midrifthurinet to address the rise in mental health and gender-based violence (GBV) cases.
“Cases of GBV require serious intervention and it is important to address the issues before they develop into a costly psychiatric illness to treat,” said Dr Osore.
He observed that the county has also supported some of the health workers, including doctors, to train in mental health.
“We did the mapping and we were able to help the doctors go to psychiatry and three of them were trained and assigned to Naivasha Sub-County Hospital, Gilgil Mental Hospital and Nakuru Level Five Hospital This is in addition to the recruitment of psychiatric nurses last year to support lower level facilities in the 11 sub-counties, ”Dr Osore said.