‘2, 000 Malawian youth suffer from depression annually’


A health expert has disclosed that over 2,000 young people are admitted for mental disorders every year at Zomba Mental Hospital as a result of suffering from different forms of depression.

A psychiatric clinical officer at Zomba Mental Hospital Henry Kawiya said the institution registers at least 6 to 7 cases of mental disorders every day.

The health specialist made a presentation on Monday in Lilongwe at the start of a three day workshop on “interactive communication strategy for addressing the challenges of depression among youths” in the country.

The Communication Strategy is expected to raise general mental health literacy among young people in understanding depression, its symptoms and how to get help if needed.

Kawiya attributed the “alarming levels” to what he said is failure by some nurses and clinicians to diagnose symptoms of the disease amongst patients at early stages

“ Most cases of depression are missed by nurses in the hospitals, many patients who are suffering from depression end up being given LA as if they are suffering from Malaria or in some instances being advised to take strong pain killers to treat body pains, when in real sense the person is depressed “

“The wards at Zomba Mental Hospital are congested with young people between the ages of 15- 25 who are suffering from different forms of depression ranging from, anxiety, mood disorders, psychotic disorders as well as substance use.

Executive Director of Farm Radio International Rex Chapota whose organisation is coordinating the project, said the programme seeks to develop and evaluate a new model for improving mental health and social well-being of young people affected by depression in the country. – Reported by Ntchindi Meki

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