The Department has two units, the Mental Health Unit and the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Rehabilitation (ADA-R) Unit. The Mental Health Department is committed to
providing timely, cost-effective and patient-centered quality mental healthcare services; fostering learning and growth through training and research, utilization of
new technologies, continuous improvement and participation in National Health Planning.
The Mental Health Unit:
Our Mental Health Unit is one of the largest in-patient facilities admitting those with mental disorders in the country. It has a capacity of 80 beds, and accommodates both males and females above the age of 14 years. A newly constructed pediatric psychiatric unit serves as a ward for children under the age of 14 years suffering from mental illnesses. ADA-R unit has a capacity of 16 beds and is one of only four public sector alcohol and drug abuse in-patient units in Kenya. Modes of treatment include psychotropic, psychotherapy as well as electroconvulsive therapy administered by a dedicated team of Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Nurses, Medical Social Workers and Occupational Therapists among others.
The 70-bed Mental Health Unit is the only purposely built mental unit in Kenya and one of the best in terms of infrastructure and Human Resource. The Multi-Disciplinary team managing patients includes; Psychiatrists, Nurses, Psychiatry Clinical Officers,Clinical Psychologists, Occupational Therapists, Nutritionists, Pastoral Services Team,Administrative Officers and support staff. The most common conditions managed at this unit are schizophrenia, bipolar mood disorder, depression and substance induced mental illness.
Outpatient Mental Health Services
The Unit has a Monday to Friday walk-in-clinic manned by 2 specialized Clinical Officers at the Accident and Emergency Department. This is the main entry point into the mental health services of MTRH. It also serves clients who need a prescription refill before their scheduled clinic date. Every Wednesday, there is a scheduled Consultant Clinic running at Chandaria Cancer and Chronic Disease Centre (CCCDC). Patients are scheduled into this clinic from the Mental Health Unit, daily walk-in-clinic, the general wards and the peripheral Hospitals. Every Monday, we also have the child Psychiatry clinic and the forensic assessments.
Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services:
Substance abuse remains one of the most challenging public health issues of our time.In Kenya, as of 2017, (30% of the population aged between 15 and 65 years had ever used alcohol; 10% had ever used tobacco and 5% cannabis. While the rates of use are declining nationally within Kenya, the burden of severe forms of problematic patterns of substance use referred to as a Substance Use Disorder (SUD) is on the rise. SUDs not only contribute to adverse health effects such as cancer and mental illness, but also affect the socio-economic structures of society, for example through their impact on health care services and criminal justice systems. It is therefore crucial that treatment and prevention of SUDs is prioritized.
Moi Teaching & Referral Hospital (MTRH) in acknowledging the need to fight this scourge, offers SUD treatment and prevention services on an out-patient and in-
patient basis. Both programs run for a minimum of 12 weeks. The out-patient program runs every Monday at the CCCDC. Clients for in-patient care are admitted at the Hospital’s ADA-R Unit.
The mainstay of addiction treatment at the unit is psychotherapy offered in group and individual formats. Psychotherapy (structured talk therapy) aids with building motivation towards change, relapse prevention, improving family relations, building client social support and improving clients’ life skills. Psychotherapy is often augmented by medication where appropriate. Medication given helps reduce craving and withdrawal symptoms and therefore aids in recovery. Mutual aid groups are held at the unit and offer the much needed peer support. Clients additionally receive care for co-morbid physical and mental conditions as well as life skills training to equip clients with essential skills necessary to cope with daily life stresses.
Outreach and public education
The Directorate conducts monthly visits to Eldoret Special School for the mentally challenged. The Department also supports Huruma and Turbo mental health clinics as part of the decongestion strategy. We also visit several schools to educate the youth about mental health and drug abuse.Through partnerships with Indiana University-USA, the Directorate participates in community education, capacity building of primary care workers and supporting alcohol support groups in Nandi and Uasin Gishu counties. Through this, we have sensitized several teachers, religious leaders, chiefs, village elders and county health
management team members.