By PRO Unit – MOHS
The New Director of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) and Mental Health, Dr. Santigie Sesay and team on Friday June 8, 2018 paid a visit at the Sierra Leone Psychiatric Hospital (Kissy hospital) at Kissy, east end of Freetown to get first information about its operations.
Briefing the new Director of Non-Communicable Disease and Mental Health, the Specialist Psychiatric and Medical Superintendent, Sierra Leone Psychiatric Hospital, Dr. Abdul Jalloh said since he took over as the In-Charge, there have been challenges but with support from Partners In Health (PIH) and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation they are overcoming the challenges gradually.
He said they use to have challenges in water supply, hygiene, infrastructure, security and staffing equipment, but for the past twenty years, they now have running water, 24 hours electricity, the hospital is clean and the staffs are motivated.
Dr. Jalloh stated that PIH has done extremely well for them and currently they have completed partial renovation of Ward one and female patients from wards 5 and 6 will be relocated to wards one, adding that presently medications are in country awaiting the completion of the modern pharmacy.
He told the visiting team that presently the hospital housed about 138 patients of which 70 percent are male, adding that 80 percent of young people with mental effect are from drugs abuse such as Tramadol and other substances.
The Chief Medical Officer, Partners In Health (PIH), Dr. Marta Lado said PIH has a long history of programmes on mental health in other sites, and normally the work that PIH does is more of approaching the communities and Community Health Workers (CHW) programmes.
She said they recognized Sierra Leone as a different context and seeing that Kissy hospital is not good condition, and the only referral hospital for mental health, they decided to provide some funds to support in rehabilitating many infrastructures and drugs supplies in the hospital.
Dr. Lado said they know that the support is not enough but they are hoping to keep on working and supporting the mental health programme. She added that they want to make the management of psychiatric patients in a better condition and also improving awareness all over the country about the importance of mental health programmes.
Responding the Director of Non-Communicable Diseases and Mental Health, Dr. Santigie Sesay commended the staff of the hospital for working under the difficult circumstances dealing with people that are not with normal senses.
He informed his audience that their visit was to know what is happening, what the problems are and what they can do to improve on the services provided in the hospital. He added that the visit is to also see how they can go to the districts and see how they can help people with mental problems.
Dr. Santigie Sesay reiterated that coming to the hospital paint a correct picture and as Director, he will use this visit as a spring board where to go to, who to talk to and to see how they can help the staff.
He assured them that they will continue to work as a ministry with their partners for the best of the hospital.
A conducted tour of the various facilities climaxed the visit.