JFK reports rise in mental health
By Emmanuel wise Jipoh
The Deputy Chief Administrator of the John F. Kennedy Medical Hospital (JFK) Dr. Dama Yekeson Koffa cautions Liberians to be aware of their mental status.
Speaking to reporters after her presentation on deliverables and progress at the government-run hospital during final day of the Special Cabinet Retreat in Ganta, Nimba County, Dr. Koffa stressed the need to address mental health in the country that she notes, is mostly affecting young people.
She frowns on the lack of attention being shown by the Healthcare System of Liberia toward Mental Health, which says, is leading to continuous increase of cases.
She says while doctors and nurses are striving to improve the health system, there’s urgent need to focus on the prevalence of mental health and mental disorder in the country, though she did not provide statistics.
Dr. Koffa also notes that Liberia has gone thru lots of trauma, including 14 years of civil war, Ebola, Corona pandemic and many other issues that had left unprecedented impacts on the mental health of citizens as well as mental health challenges that existed long before.
She underscores a need to strengthening response, effective and feasible strategies in tackling issues of mental health.
“You see people stabbing people; some of these rape issues in the country, and there are certain sickness people have mentally that they need to address, as the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital (JFK) remains the only tertiary referral hospital in Liberia that is admitting mental health patients”, she reveals.
She calls for more support for the E.S. Grant Mental Health Hospital in Paynesville, currently the only mental health institution in Liberia.
The hospital was founded in 1999 by the late Liberian psychiatrist, Dr. Edward S. Grant. In July 2010, the facility was annexed to the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital, serving as the only tertiary referral hospital responding to mental health illnesses, including substance abuse cases. Editing by Jonathan Browne