Mentally ill people lost on the streets of Addis Ababa

An estimated 80,000 mentally ill people need to be admitted to hospital but are instead living on the streets in Addis Ababa. Stigamtized, they are alienated by society and considered to be possessed by the devil.

The only two mental health hospitals in the capital city, Amanuel Hospital and Gefersa Mental Health Rehabilitation Centre, cannot accommodate the huge number of mentally ill people.

“They are isolated and do not know what to do about their situation while they are neglected by their family members and friends. Somehow the society failed in giving protection and security while their rights such as legal capacity, freedom of expression, voting rights, access to health, education and employment is being denied,” according to The Reporter.

“According to Aytenew Debebe’s Master’s thesis entitled ‘The Rights of Persons with Mental Disabilities,’ the government has insufficient budget. According to the research, there is no disaggregated budget for mental health but 29.5 million birr was allocated to Amanuel Hospital last year. This is less than one percent of the total health budget that is 3.6 billion birr; and this is the only fund allocated by the federal government for mental health services.”

Read the full story at The Reporter.

Photo by Mattias Kiel Nielsen.


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