From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

EDITORIALS
The Kissy Mental Home Patients are Not Labourers!
By
Nov 4, 2011, 17:14

One beauty about President Ernest Koromaís government is the introduction of the Agenda for Change policy which continues to implement many developmental reforms in Sierra Leone.

 

Many, however, ponder whether the Agenda for Change policy caters for the mentally retarded Sierra Leoneans in the country.   

 

The Awareness Times does believe that the neglect currently facing the mental patients at the Kissy Mental Home in Freetown is not part of the Agenda for Change that the government has in mind. But these mental patients have now being transformed in to labourers who fend for themselves daily! Why?

 

The neglect of these mental patients has alerted family members who are very unhappy for the plights of their sick relatives. Sources have indicated that the patientsí conditions at the Kissy Mental Home have deteriorated so much that they have now turned to beggars, labourers and hawkers.¬†

 

We do not understand why these mental patients could resort to begging when they are expected to be at the hospital 24/7. It is a serious indictment on the health authorities for failing to properly feed and take care of them.

 

It is the responsibility of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to dispense the correct medication to the mental patients and to make sure they are properly secured in their homes for security reasons.

 

Allowing these mental patients to roam the streets of Freetown is very risky for them and the innocent population. Innocent passers-by could be seriously wounded by mental patients for no reason. Nothing comes out of such a case involving a mentally deranged person.

 

It is beyond oneís comprehension to allow these patients to roam aimlessly around Thunder Hill, Looking Town, Cassel Farm and Ebo Town to beg or do jobs like fetching water all day long just to get food to eat. Why should we stoop so low to allow these patients to move from dust bin to dust bin to scavenge for food?

 

The recent renovation work done at the Kissy Mental Home Hospital is not significant if the patients who are supposed to occupy the building are not put under control for their own safety and the safety of others.

These mental patients deserve better.

 

They must not be subjected to inhuman treatment like this. Subjecting them to menial jobs like fetching water before they could eat is regrettable. Being mentally ill does not mean an individual has lost his/her fundamental rights.¬† They are sick people, letís remember that. Caring for them is right and human!

 

They are patients like any other patients. If properly treated, many of these mental patients could recover and go home to resume their normal lives. But having this negative attitude that mental patients would never recover is wicked.

 

We believe the nurses and workers in the hospital have complained of late salaries but this is no reason to maltreat the patients. That is why we want the Health Ministry to sort out this mess NOW.



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