Tsholot­sho to ben­e­fit from psy­chi­atric coun­selling

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Whins­ley Masara Chron­i­cle Reporter

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

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