RUTANA November 23rd (ABP) – Burundi celebrated on Saturday, November 20, World Mental Health Day, a holiday generally commemorated on October 10 of each year. The ceremonies took place at Gihofi hospital, in Bukemba commune, Rutana province and were enhanced by the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS, Mr. Jean Baptiste Nzorironkankuze surrounded by several senior officials of the said ministry and representatives of partner organizations such as WHO, Enabel, IOM …
The representative of the minister in charge of health began by visiting the premises of that hospital, recently rehabilitated by the ministry, before granting food and non-food aid to bedridden patients at that hospital, who number more than 70.
In her speech, the governor’s adviser in charge of social and cultural issues, Ms. Jacqueline Nzeyimana praised the fact that the Gihofi hospital had been rehabilitated because before its situation caused a lot of inconvenience due to its oozing roof. She expressed the wish to see the health district of Gihofi with another hospital because it is very large as well as the hospital with another ambulance because, when the one granted by the government is on the move and if they appeal, there is a problem of saving a life.
She congratulated and encouraged this hospital for its very advanced plan to procure an ambulance through the contributions collected.
Regarding the treatment of mental illnesses, the governor’s advisor wished to see the platform of stakeholders in psycho-social and mental health which, until now works to treat the mentally ill of Giharo and Bukemba, intervene in other municipalities of the province.
As for the delegate of the WHO representative in Burundi, he recalled the theme of this day for this year which is to make health care for all a reality. He deplored the fact that the budget allocated to mental health care remains very low worldwide, which does not allow all mentally ill people to access care not only for lack of means but also of specialists in this care for their own. administer. He said the WHO recommends that there be at least 13 caregivers per 100,000 people, but only a tenth of people with the disease receive appropriate treatment. He pointed out that mental problems around the world are exacerbated by the lockdown due to Covid-19 which has assigned people to stay cloistered in their homes, making them much lonelier and increasing their anxiety.
The permanent secretary at the ministry of public health and the fight against AIDS, for his part, indicated that in Burundi, there are no surveys carried out to know the number of mentally ill but that they exist when same. The proof is that this hospital in Gihofi has a department responsible for that pathology. He said that the organization of this day is an opportunity to raise awareness to be concerned about the mental health of people, not to discriminate or marginalize those who are affected but rather to seek treatment.