MONICA EVA MUCHERU
Mathari National Teaching & Referral Hospital, Clinical Services, Nairobi, Kenya
Kenyan Experience – Public Private partnership (Psychosocial rehabilitation): Mathari Hospital being the national referral hospital for mental health has faced challenges over the years worst being that of abandoned patients. A partnership between the institution & Kamili Organisation, a nongovernmental organisation has come in handy to address this. Patients discharged from the facility are referred back to their nearest Kamili community mental health clinics countrywide. The Kamili social worker & the government facility nurses repatriate abandoned patients & unite them with their families. The cost of repatriation is met is shared by the two organisations as part of the partnership. Kamili Organisation sponsors government nurses from all over the country for a higher diploma in mental health. The trained nurses are charged with the responsibility of establishing & running a community mental health clinic when posted back to their workstation after completing their studies. Kamili organisation supplies medication; consultation & medication are at no cost. In the last 3 years 18 nurses have been trained & an average of 7 abandoned patients escorted back home per month. As at 15th March the hospital has 21 abandoned patients compared to 120 in January 2016.
Conclusion: Consultation, medication & travel costs are reduced through follow up at the local community mental health clinics. Stigma related to mental health problems/institutionalisation reduced. The abandoned patients have reduced & the overcrowding at the hospital addressed as a result. Declaration of conflict of interest: The author is a founder member of Kamili Organisation & a board member.