Mental Illnesses In Maun Worry Bogosi


…Centre to support and care for the patients planned

The Just Hope Foundation (JHP) plans to open a Day Care Centre in Maun which is intended to provide a safe haven for the mentally ill where they can be assisted to regain their dignity, and humanness, as well as instil hope into their lives.

The Centre is yearned to address the concerns of many, including Batawana deputy paramount chief, Kealetile Moremi about the worrisome numbers of people in Maun who are suffering from mental disorders.

Speaking at the inaugural International Mental Health Conference held in Maun this week, Moremi expressed worry that mental issues have mostly affected youth in the tourism capital who are always seen wandering the streets.  She lamented that the problem does not only affect the patients themselves but it also extends to their caregivers therefore appreciating JHP for organising such a befitting event where it is mostly needed.

JHB Centre coordinator, Karabo Swartland shared that they are equally concerned about patients loitering the streets of Maun without receiving the right care.  “Some of them seem to have last taken a bath when some of us here were not even born and this is heart-breaking,” she bewailed.

To address this, Swartland revealed that JHB has a dream to have a care Centre that will provide support and care of these patients, “we would check them in the mornings and then bath, provide them with clothes, food and medication before returning them to their respective homes later in the evenings.”

Swartland believes that with the support from potential donors and the general public, the dream is not far-fetched but achievable.

Meanwhile, the deputy national coordinator of the National AIDS and Health Promotion Agency (NAHPA), Batlhalefi Leagajang reiterated the agency’s commitment to equip Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) such as JHF, with the necessary resources to provide free mental health services to the general public.   He stressed that their support to CSOs is meant to enable them to deliver effective mental health interventions, prevention and support systems at the grassroots level.

However, Leagajang noted that though government has committed to waging a spirited fight against HIV and NCDs including mental health, they however find themselves challenged with resources. He highlighted that since joining NAHPA in 2022 he has seen a significant cut in the budget allocated to the agency which in turn is shared among the implementing partners. 

 “The cut in the budget affects all sectors of the economy and it does not in any way reflect lack of appreciation of the NCD response. In fact, Botswana is among the top countries in the world whose government is committed to finding the HIV and NCD response,” he clarified.


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