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Mental Health Still A Challenge, PS Muthoni

Kenyans have been urged to play a leading role in assisting those with mental problems and mobilise those with disorders to come forward for assistance in health facilities.

Health Principal Secretary (PS) Mary Muthoni said mental health can be treated and we need to help those who have been affected in the society. The illness has no symptoms and many individuals may be suffering because of challenges they experience in their daily lives.

‘We may be sick and we are not aware, walking patients. Mental illness can be treated in our health facilities and we have a duty to assist those who may be experiencing such to return to normal as well as accessing treatment,’ she said.

The PS further challenged the residents of Gichugu to embrace preventive and primitive health services by ensuring they get early checkup and detection and at same time get services at homes offered by the Community Health Promoters.

Speaking in Gichugu in Kirinyaga County the PS noted that even being in a neighborhood to a person havin
g mental problems is a problem to the whole community. She added that failure to address mental health-related issues portends significant health and socio-economic implications in terms of social capital and healthcare needs.

‘If you live next to a person with mental problem, you will not be peaceful because they keep disturbing everybody therefore it is our collective responsibility to assist the individual,’ she asserted.

She said the role of community health promoters is key as they are like first aid services which every individual should take advantage of, as the Ministry of Health is implementing Universal Health Coverage as a key pillar of the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda, where mental health will be integral for the attainment of this agenda.

PS Muthoni attributed many cases of mental health to drug substance abuse where youths in the area have been engaging in. She acknowledged the vice is still within the society calling upon parents and church to speak to the children, ensuring they
know the whereabouts of their kids at all times.

‘Our youths are in jail because of minor offences such as disturbance and cannot raise as low Sh.2000 fine, because of drugs. This is still a challenge that is still within us and I request the church, parents and teachers to advice and guide our pupils in lower ages before they get into such drugs,’ she posed.

To enhance services countrywide PS said the ministry is implementing Heath Digital Superhighway which allows exchange of patient data. This will avoid repetition of checkups and tests when an individual is referred to another facility or doctor for specialist treatment.

The PS highlighted education as a major factor that will help eradicate major challenges being experienced within the society asking the parents to take advantage of TVETs which the government is investing heavily on. She also assured the residents of Gichugu that Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) will be established within the sub-county as Kirinyaga county is the only county with
out such institution in the region.

Source: Kenya News Agency