Mental health is essential to the well being of individuals and economies. In developing countries, there is an increased risk of mental health problems attributable to poverty, low education and inequality.
According to the WHO, in most countries, less than 2 per cent of health funds are earmarked for mental health. One third of people living with schizophrenia, over half suffering from depression and three quarters with alcohol-use disorders cannot access affordable care.
Estimates of the number of sufferers in Kenya are difficult to come by due to the problem of undereporting. Kenya currently has only one dedicated mental health hospital, based in Mathare, Nairobi and a small number of overstretched units attached to district hospitals. There is limited training available for community nurses to identify, diagnose and treat mentally ill patients in the community.
Kamili Organisation is a Kenyan Non Governmental Organisation, set up in 2009 in order to take over two existing and successful mental health clinics that had been created by another NGO. These clinics, which are run 12 times a month, are seeing an increasing number of patients every month. In the past year, a further clinic was opened in Kihara sub district hospital, which now opens 3 times a month.