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Many politicians are mentally ill, claims expert


Aga Khan University Medical College Psychiatry and Dean, Professor Lukoye Atwoli has said that the magnitude of mental health in the country is chipping in leadership. Prof. Lukoye said that the degree of mental illness in the country was worrying as he termed it as an epidemic.

"The magnitude of mental health problems in this country is several orders of magnitude greater than Covid-19, HIV and TB Malaria." He said in a radio interview at Spice Fm on Thursday.

He said there are people with untreated mental illness and people with personality disorders who have been elected and some appointed to serious positions of power.

"We do have people with untreated mental health making decisions for the country in various positions," he said adding, "We have seen politicians do the most dramatic things. Someone was seen punching tarmac while saying incoherent things in front of the media. And we elect them."

He said every decision made is influenced by a multiplicity of factors including the state of mind and the environment an individual finds himself or herself in.

"If your state of mind is unstable and it is for a significant proportion of our population then that indeed influences the decisions that we make." He said

The professor said that they are doing a National mental health survey in the country but currently they are working on estimates.

"It has been estimated that probably upto one in every four Kenyans will have suffered mental illness in their lifetime," he said.

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