January 20, 2015

Gulu Hospital Stuck with Mental Patients

Gulu regional referral hospital mental health unit is stuck with a woman who is now recovering from mental illness but with difficulty to trace her roots.

Elizabeth Lalar on the right hand side and her caretaker Oroma Rosemary who helped in bringing her to the health facility
Elizabeth Lalar on the right hand side and her caretaker Oroma Rosemary who helped in bringing her to the health facility

After spending up to 12 years on the streets of Gulu, facing physical and sexual abuse, the woman, suspected to be a Kenyan national was rescued on December 17th 2014.

She has been undergoing treatment and rehabilitation at the mental health unit and is now fit to be discharged. But she remembers none of her relatives, her place of origin or even her past.

Akello Immaculate, the in charge of the mental health Unit says the woman, who has since been named Elizabeth Lalar, for lack of identity, needs psychosocial support which would require fulltime attention from persons close to her.

She suffers chronic psychotic illness and because of the disorder, her relatives and background cannot easily be traced yet the hospital is financially constrained to keep her on the list of needs.

39-year-old Rosemary Peace Oroma, who led the rescue mission for the patient, explains that besides the mental disorder, she is disturbed by a urinary problem which needs urgent attention.

Oroma, a teacher by profession who also suffers mental disorder has been trained to take care of mentally ill persons and help get them off the streets.

Two to four new patients are admitted on a daily basis at the Gulu mental health Unit which also has a daily attendance rate of between 30 to 40 patients who come to seek medical aid.

The police spokesperson for Aswa region, Patrick Jimmy Okema advised the hospital to forward the matter to the police and the immigration office for possible help.

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