Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) today, 10th October, 2019 joined the rest of the world in marking World Mental Health Day. This day is celebrated each year as a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. It was first recognised in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global Mental Health Organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries.
On this day, thousands of supporters participate in the annual awareness to bring attention to mental illness and its major effects on people’s lives worldwide.
Dr. Florence Jaguga, a Psychiatrist at MTRH said Mental Health has become a major concern, globally. She further said that World Health Organization (WHO) reports indicate that one person dies or is contemplating suicide every 40 seconds. Data from Uasin Gishu County records, she added, shows a high number of mental sickness in the Region.
Speaking during the celebrations, Prof. Kuremu Tenge, Ag. Principal- College of Health Sciences, Moi University, said Government policies on mental health needs review to scale up the Human Resources for Health (HRH) component. He said there are few qualified personnel handling mental health patients in Government Healthcare Institutions. He raised this while noting that this year’s theme which is in line with Universal Health Coverage(UHC). Prof. Tenge added that staff need to be motivated to specialize in Mental Health.
The Chief Guest, Deputy Governor County Government of Uasin Gishu, Hon. Daniel Chemno, emphasized that suicide should be prevented. He said that counselling should be seen positively as many people suffer in silence, having no one to talk to. He stated that suicide is a big loss to society as we lose so many brilliant minds. “We should come together as a society and help prevent suicide,” he said. Hon. Chemno said society should recognize mental health as a disease and not an affliction.
The celebration which was flagged by Dr. Philip Kirwa, Director of Reproductive Health at MTRH, began with a walk through Eldoret town to Memorial grounds.
Present during the celebrations were: Prof. Benson Gakinya, a Psychiatrist at Moi University-School of Medicine; Deputy County Commissioner, Moiben Subcounty-James Munene; Representative, CEC Health Uasin Gishu County, Dr. Okiriamo; HoD Mental Health Unit-MTRH, Dr. Edith Kwobah; Human Resource Manager-MTRH, Ms. Angela Koech; Mr Songole, Department of Mental Health- Moi University; Violah Yego – NHIF, Ms. Caroline Cheruiyot, Principal Administrative Officer – MTRH among others.