Mental health experts say 300 people, mostly the youth, go mad every month due to abuse of alcohol and drugs and are referred to Zomba Mental Hospital.

Zomba Mental Hospital Director of Zomba Mental Hospital Immaculate Chamangwana says this number is alarming and puts a strain on meagre resources at the hospital which she said does not have adequate qualified staff to handle the situation and the infrastructure cannot accommodate all.

This was said on Wednesday during the commemoration of World Mental Day in Nkhata Bay.
“That is the major challenge in Malawi, we face a lot of challenges in terms of resources,” said Chamangwana.

She said in district hospitals, the situation is dire as there are no wards for people with mental problems, saying they are put in ordinary wards with other patients, putting lives of the other patients at risk.

Chamangwana said the Mental Health Department gets a meagre four per cent of the whole ministry of Health national budget which she said is not enough.

She said most youth abuse alcohol and drugs due to depression mostly due to lack of employment so they become stressed up.

Chief director in the ministry of Health Charles Mwansambo said the government is working on prevention measures of mental health problems rather than waiting for treating the patients, saying prevention is better than cure.