Mombasa County sets up Covid-19 holding centre for mentally ill patients
By Philip Mwakio | May 10th 2020
The County Government of Mombasa in partnership with Women Empowerment Network has established a 120-bed capacity centre to cater mainly for persons with mental illness who might be exposed to the deadly Covid-19.
The new facility will be located at the Kenya Coast Polytechnic in Mvita Constituency and will cater for all medical requirements for persons who are mentally ill and.
Mombasa county authorities will now begin rounding up all persons suffering from mental health disorders from the streets and taking them to isolation.
The mental patients’ facility was opened on Friday by Mombasa Women Representative Mishi Mboko who represented Governor Hassan Joho.
''Mentally ill persons have for a long time been neglected. Other patients suffering from various ailments get better attention. We need to ensure that there are adequate medical specialists to deal with mental illnesses,''Mboko said.
The Chairperson of Mombasa Women Empowerment Network Amina Abdalah concurred with Mboko's sentiments on the need to give proper attention to persons suffering mental illness.
''During these very trying times and particularly in Mombasa which has been identified as a Covid-19 hotspot, we cannot afford to leave anyone behind as we try to fight spread of the disease,'' said.
She said that the network has deemed it fit to partner with the Mombasa County to help protect mental patients from easily contracting the disease.
Amina at the same time called on the national and other county governments to consider persons who are mentally challenged as the most vulnerable in society and come up with clear road maps on how to keep them safe during the pandemic.
The Head of Department of Healthcare for Persons with Mental Challenges Celina Kithinji said that the County government has sent adequate nurses to the new facility.
Mboko further challenged the county government to develop sustainable access to healthcare for mental, neurological, and substance use disorders, and ensure that the right patients get the right care and treatment, at the right time, and in the right setting.
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