The research on mental health and barriers of access to mental health care will be held in Uganda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa, Nepal and India under the five-year Emerald project funded by the European Union, according to Dr. Fred Kigizi, the executive director of Butabika National Psychiatric Referral Hospital.
He says that between 20% to 30% of Ugandans have mental disorders including failure to sleep, anxiety or being obsessed with certain things.
Dr. Kigozi says that about 680,000 (2%) of Uganda’s population has psychosis- the worst level of mental illness. Psychosis is a mental illiness condition where a person can undress, throw stones, and walk in the middle of the road when vehicles are cruising.
In Uganda only 20% of the people suffering from mental illness get access to medical care/treatment.
The doctor says that mental illness in Uganda is mainly caused by HIV. He says that close to 1.2 million Ugandans live with HIV and more than half of this population lack access to the life-saving ARVs.
Doctor Kigozi says that many of the HIV patients end up committing suicide due to depression.