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Sierra Leone: Mental Health hospital introduces ‘free chain initiative’

Sierra Leone has launched a new initiative aimed at modernizing mental health treatment in the country, reports said on Friday.The Sierra Leone Free Chain Initiative, launched on Thursday by the Minister of Health, is designed to end decades of inhuman practice of chaining mental patients.

The practice had discouraged people from taking their loved ones to the only mental health facility in the country, the Kissy Mental Hospital.

Most people would rather let their mentally ill loved ones roam the street in deplorable conditions. This way it has become a common sight in Freetown to see mad people competing for space with the rest of the population.

Dr Abdulai Jalloh, Psychiatrist at the hospital, said the new ‘Soft Restrain’ approach was designed to make the free and called on the people to refer their sick loved one there.

According to the official, the initiative is been supported by the US-based NGO Partners in Health, which has renovated the facility and provided medication and equipment. Jalloh said this is all part of
efforts to make the hospital the best in providing treatment for mental health not just in Sierra Leone but in the sub region.

“We will ensure an improvement in services provided in this hospital and raise awareness on the importance of good mental health within the population,” he said. “By June 2019 this hospital will be one of the best hospitals in Sierra Leone and in the sub region,” he added.

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