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Presentation on theme: "USERS’ INVOLVEMENT IN MENTAL HEALTH WORK. By Sylvester Katontoka. 2010."— Presentation transcript:


2 Mental Health Situation in Zambia. Zambia is one of the Countries in Sub-Sahara Africa exhibiting some poorest health indicators and the highest disease burden. With an estimated population of 12.2 million people, about 200,000 people suffer from severe mental health problems and about 10% of the adult population has mild to moderate mental health problems.

3 MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES IN ZAMBIA. Mental health services in Zambia are mainly rendered at the only hospital situated in the Capital City. The Hospital has close to 220 beds. According to the In-Patient data from the hospital the major illnesses being treated are: Schizophrenia (57%) Mental and Behaviour Disorders due to Substance Abuse (27%) Mood Disorders (12%) Others Cases (4%)

4 TYPE OF SERVICES. Mainly Pharmacologic and Nursing care as prescribed by Clinical Psychiatric Officers, Medical Doctors or Psychiatrists. Unfortunately, about 70 – 80% of persons with mental health problems in Zambia are consulting traditional health practitioners before seeking help from conventional health practitioners. This is because of the traditional and religious explanation of mental illness. Also the centralized mental health system in place. To address the situation, Government plans to establish institutional mechanisms for collaboration between traditional and conventional health practitioners in mental health services.

5 MENTAL HEALTH USERS NETWORK OF ZAMBIA (MHUNZA). Duly registered on 02 nd January,2003. Formed to address the wide range of human rights violations persons with mental health problems experience in Mental Hospitals and in the Community.

6 VISION Creating a society free from stigma and discrimination against persons with mental disabilities.

7 MISSION To promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with mental health problems, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.

8 MAJOR ROLES. Identify Needs and Priorities of persons with mental health problems. Participate in Planning, Implementation and Evaluation of Services concerning the lives of persons with mental health problems. Contribute to Public awareness. Advocate for change. Also an instrument for Self-Help programmes providing and promoting opportunities for the development of skills. Our desire is to attain human freedom that governments and communities continue to ignore.

9 MHUNZA STRUCTURE Has a Board comprising persons with mental health problems, family members and mental health workers. They are responsible for policy formulation. Has a secretariat which implements the organization policies.

10 MEMBERSHIP. MHUNZA draws its membership from persons who have a mental health diagnosis. Persons with mental health problems are presented to a mental health hospital either by relatives or friends were the medical officers will make a diagnosis and treat them accordingly. Thereafter, patients presents themselves at the Out-Patients for reviews every month.

11 MHUNZA’s STARTEGY. Partnerships with the Government and Zambia National AIDS Network (ZNAN). ZNAN has assisted MHUNZA develop a strategic plan and is financing the plan until December 2010.

12 STRATEGIC DIRECTION. Community Mobilization and Sensitization- To educate the general population on mental health problems, availability of treatment and recovery form mental illness. Human Rights and Legal Reforms – Lobby and Advocate of the repealing of the mental disorders Act of 1951 which promotes human rights violation.

13 HIV and AIDS- Minimization of HIV infection of persons with mental health problems as they are a risk group. Also support and care for persons living with HIV/AIDS and have developed mental health problems.

14 ACTIVITIES UNDERTAKEN BY MHUNZA. Baseline survey in Lusaka – to provide an indication of the prevalence of HIV/AIDS among persons with mental health problems. Community Mobilization and Sensitization- Have sensitized the community Leaders on mental health issues through holding of seminars in 20 compounds in Lusaka and distribution of IEC Materials.





19 Home Visits – conducted home visits to 74 members in 37 compounds of Lusaka districts. The most important findings were that the members are poor and unemployed.


21 Entrepreneurship Workshops – Holds workshops called “START YOUR BUSINESS” as a way of fighting poverty among members. Small Grants in kind are given to members.


23 A seminar with Parliamentarians was help to sensitize them on the GAPS in the old law and the need for a new mental health law with a smiling face.


25 Radio and Television programmes on the national broadcaster discussing mental health and human rights.

26 CHALLENGES. Within the Organization – Lack of capacity in: -Communication skills. -Advocacy skills. -Planning Skills. -Research Skills. -Monitoring and Evaluation. -Resource Mobilization.

27 CHALLENGES (continued) Mental disorders Act of 1951. HIV/AIDS. Lack of understanding of mental health issues by the community. Lack of investment in mental health (Financially and Materially) to meet the NEEDS of persons with mental health problems.

28 Lack of Local, Regional and International Cooperation to support capacity building, exchange and sharing of information, experiences and best practices.

29 FUTURE PLANS. More awareness campaigns. Organize and implement rehabilitation services for persons with mental health problems and their families. Establish cooperation with local, regional and international organizations to support exchange of ideas and programmes.

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