The re-opening of the Mental Health Unit to patients at Masaka
Regional Referral Hospital has been delayed following the increasing number of
In May, Masaka Regional Referral gazetted the mental ward to serve
as the treatment unit. The more than 200 patients who were seeking treatment in the ward
were transferred to Kyabakuza Health Centre III.
According to Dr Nathan Onyach, the Director Masaka Regional Referral Hospital, they had
planned to take back the patients to the ward unit by December hoping the
number of COVID-19 cases will have reduced. However, Onyach says it has
become a challenge since the COVID infections keep increasing every week.
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He adds that the number of mental patients is also increasing due
to COVID –related problems including stress, unemployment and poverty. He
explains that there is a need to strengthen mental health unit especially at
the time when the COVID-19 has triggered more metal cases.
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Onyach has asked the patients’ caretakers to remain patient until when the situation improves.
Dr Canaan Kateregga, the in-charge of the Psychiatric Unit, says
that the temporary relocation of mental health services to Kyabakuza has
greatly affected the mental health patients. He explains that the patients are struggling
to access treatment due to the distance among other services.
Last week 45 students tested positive for COVID-19 while 16 health
workers were told to self-isolate after getting exposed.