Tsholotsho to benefit from psychiatric counselling
TSHOLOTSHO villagers will soon benefit from the expertise of psychiatric nurses and doctors, following a spate of horrific murders committed by mentally challenged people in the district.
The latest was the case of a Grade One pupil whose mentally unstable neighbour pounded him to death with a hammer, before disembowelling his body last week.
Mr Jabulani Nkomo, son of the late Vice-President Landa John Nkomo, said he had organised for 10 nurses and doctors to teach villagers how to deal with mentally challenged relatives.
He said the programme would be held at various parts of the district this month.
Mr Nkomo said local leaders were compiling a list of families with mentally unstable relatives, saying they would be the primary target of the outreach.
“I felt we shouldn’t wait for another incident of such a nature to recur. I think it’s important to have locals educated on how to maintain and monitor mentally challenged people. I have organised a team of 10 nurses and doctors who have worked with such people and will embark on an outreach programme in the community of Tsholotsho,” he said.
Mr Nkomo, who has a number of social responsibility programmes in Tsholotsho, said the group is made up of volunteers.
“It will be a day’s programme where local leaders will gather families and communities at large who have such cases close to them. The team will be spread around the district disseminating information and teaching the community on how to treat such patients.”
A local traditional leader, Chief Mathuphula, said he is concerned about the increased number of cases of violence and the horrific nature of a majority of crimes.
“As community leaders we have noted decay in the traditional platforms of conflict resolution. Set-ups in the homes and community need to be revised, strengthened and to be respected because without these, violence will continue in our areas.
“We have many cases where youths have turned against elders. The abuse of alcohol, homemade brews, mbanje and others contribute to turning the communities upside down,” he said.
Chief Mathuphula said stiffer penalties should be meted to wrongdoers while those who are not in full charge of their senses are monitored. He said he welcomed Mr Nkomo’s initiative. Ward 10 Councillor Cde Roy Ncube said society needed to keep tabs on people suspected to be suffering from mental illness.
The outreach development comes at a time when the biggest mental hospital in Matabeleland, Ingutsheni Central Hospital in Bulawayo, is facing a critical shortage of medicines for both its in and out of hospital patients.
Three nurses have been attacked by patients this year as patients go without sedatives.
Officials at Ingutsheni Central Hospital say the drug shortage has resulted in unsustainable cases of outpatients relapsing and needing re-admission at the crowded institution. — winnie_masara
Mr Jabulani Nkomo