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Weed and muguka blamed for the rise in mental cases in Mombasa County

NEWS

Muguka and bhang are said to be the most abused drugs in Mombasa County leading to mental disorder, according to Miritini Mental Rescue Centre Founder Amina Abdalla.

Speaking during celebrations to mark World Mental Health Day at Mombasa Women Hospital Rescue Centre, Abdalla said the problem with the drugs is easy access because they are cheap and thus accessible to all, including school-going children.

She said there is a trend by Muguka sellers to give a free bag of muguka for each bag they sell. The drug is mixed with bhang thus leading to mental disorder.

"The problem we have is that we have a tendency where the sellers are selling a bag at Sh50 and gives the buyer another bag for free. It is now buy one get one free. And the worst issue is that even children are buying and chewing muguka," Amina said.

During the celebrations, 26 patients graduated from the rescue centre with different abilities such as welding, carpentry and hair making. The youth are expected to apply the skills to earn a living and steer clear of drugs.

She further said that they had a nine-year-old patient, a 12-year-old patient and two secondary school students who were treated at the facility.

She asked the national and county governments to create a mental health office since the problem is on the rise and one of the contributors is the use of drugs.

She also asked the government to further ensure the said drugs, especially muguka, are regulated despite them being a cash crop for some communities.

Her words were echoed by Jomvu Deputy County Commissioner Gitonga Mwiandi who said there is need to fight the use of drugs, saying drugs are part of the major contributors of mental disorder in the society.

"We should unite and ensure that drugs are eradicated in the society and Jomvu as part of our society and ensure the vice must stop. I am actually happy to see such a rescue centre like Mama Amina's is helping those affected and helping the get back in the society," said Mwiandi.

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