SHOCKING NEGLECT: Mental patient at Ingutsheni 68 years; no family visits

By Yolanda Moyo

Dumping of people with mental health problems remains a serious issue that requires an all stakeholders approach if the patients are to be rehabilitated successfully, authorities at Ingutsheni Hospital in Bulawayo have said.

In a shocking case of apparent neglect, ZBC reporter Yolanda Moyo came face to face with a shocking case of a 102-year-old man who has been admitted at the hospital for the past 68 years without relatives even visiting.

Hospital Chief Executive Office Dr Nemache Mawere said expressed concern over the of dumping of people with mental illnesses by relatives at the institution.

“People have a wrong mindset of viewing Ingutsheni Hospital as a care home for those suffering from mental illness. Some families have a tendency of dumping family members with mental challenges at the institution,” he said.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) encourages mentally challenged patients who have been rehabilitated to be re-integrated into community and recover from home, yet our communities still stigmatise them and this increases the rate of re-lapse.”

Ingutsheni Central Hospital was established as a centre for asylum seekers in June 1908 and became a mental health hospital in 1930.

The institution has a bed capacity of 708 with admission presently at 600 patients.

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