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Shortage of Essential Drugs Hits Gulu Mental Health Unit

Gulu Mental Health Unit

Mental health patients in health facilities across Acholi Sub Region are paying a heavy cost for treatment due to drug stock outs.

By Friday last week, 80 patients turned for treatment at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital Mental Unit and 22 were admitted.

However, the majority of patients were referred to buy essential medicine from private pharmacies for their treatment.

Dr. Charles Eyoung, the Psychiatrist Doctor at the Mental Health Unit disclosed to Mega Fm in an interview that the Hospital has run out of the essential drugs.

These include among others Phenytoin, which controls seizures in patients with epilepsy and Naltrexone that is used in the treatment of post-traumatic disorder and alcohol abuse.

Dr.  Eyoung explains the hospital has no choice other than to refer patients to private pharmacies to buy the drugs.

He revealed that the minimum cost of treating a patient with a mental health condition costs between Shillings 60,000 and Shillings 365,000 a month.

The Hospital Director Dr. James Elima has acknowledged the gaps saying they often budget for Shillings 2.6 billion for purchase of the essential medicines but only gets Shillings 1.4 billion, which he says is inadequate. 

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