Mental Illness in Sub-Saharan Afrika

17 Oct


These photos remind me of the expose Geraldo did on the hell trap that was Willowbrook State Hospital. The only difference is there will be no rescue for these tortured souls, and none is foreseen. Sub-Saharan Afrika is now and will always be the naked lady asking to be raped by any country that can muster an erection. These people of sub-Saharan Afrika are labeled as not being human or at least not human like us, therefore no respect is due. Any vulnerability is exploited or ignored leaving people to do the best they can with whatever they have. Mental illness is often thought to be some kind of procession by evil spirits, and who is to say it’s not. Doctors and facilities to treat these mentally ill people are few and far between leaving them to their families and building that are nothing but prisons. Shackled for days, weeks and months on end they just wait to die. So not only has war, famine and corruption devastated the continent neglect is a major factor there as well. We here in this country with all it’s faults and hatred toward us people who don’t happen to be white, must count our blessings, it can always be worse.

What to do? Well, I’ll be honest, I have not a clue as to what we can do or where to even turn. I guess me opening it up a bit more is a step in one direction. The problem of mental illness is serious, but the mentally ill have no voice and no voice is heard for them or either that voice is not loud enough. Let’s hope we can come to some conclusions before too long.

This from TIME LightBox:

Severely mentally disabled men and women are shackled and locked away in Juba Central Prison for years on end. The new nation of South Sudan faces a tremendous challenge to build a modern country capable of caring for all of its citizens. Juba, Sudan. January 2011.

This 14-year-old boy has been tied up for six years. His mother refuses to have him admitted to Gulu Hospital which is only two kilometers away. Gulu, Northern Uganda. April 2011.

The mentally ill men and women in Juba Central Prison are held in separate cells at night but during the day will mingle with the general prison population. Juba, Sudan. January 2011.

Former child soldiers smoke marijuana laced with heroin at the informal settlement known as Trench Town. Thousands of Liberia’s children were conscripted to fight in the country’s bloody civil wars between 1989 and 2003. Monrovia, Liberia. January 2013.

In the capital of Somaliland, there are seven private clinics ‘treating’ people with mental disability. They house at least 600 patients. In two of the clinics, up to 80% of the patients were shackled. Hargeisa, Somaliland. May 2011.

Abdi Rahman Shukri Ali, 26, has lived in a locked tin shack for years. He stays with his family in Dadaab in Eastern Kenya, the world’s largest refugee camp, where Somalis fleeing conflict and famine have sought safety. Dadaab Refugee Camp, Kenya. June 2011.

A chained patient awaits treatment at the clinic of a traditional healer. Kampala, Uganda. April 2011.

A Witch Doctor diagnoses a patient with mental illness by reading the way pieces of bone and shell fall on a goats skin. Northern Uganda. March 2011.

Sheikh Hussein Mahmood Dirir, Quranic healer and Director of The Healing Center, treats a patient with a mental illness by reciting the Quran to her. Hargeisa, Somaliland. May, 2011.

This government-run facility is meant to be a Psychiatric hospital. The Niger Delta, Nigeria. October 2012.

Many Somalis will take their mentally ill relative to traditional or Quranic healers for treatment. Mogadishu, Somalia. May 2011.

Mineyro Jean-Marie describes to Doctors Without Boarders Psychologist Serge Nzuya Mbwibwi how he felt when the Lord’s Resistance Army attacked his family and attempted to kidnap his daughter. Niangara, Democratic Republic of Congo. June 2011.

Due to insufficient staff numbers, family members are encouraged to stay with patients at Brothers of Charity Sante Mental. This relative would often beat, tie up and drag the patient when she did not obey his instructions. Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo. June 2011.

Native Doctor Lekwe Deezia claims to heal mental illness through the power of prayer and traditional herbal medicines. While receiving treatment, which can sometimes take months, his patients are chained to trees in his courtyard. They are not given shelter or protection from the elements and are visibly terrified of the doctor. The Niger Delta, Nigeria. October 2012.

Reverend Apostle S. B. Esanwi, Doctor of Divinity, treats people with mental illness with prayer and traditional medicines which usually consist of roots and leaves crushed in water. He claims to have cured hundreds of patients. The Niger Delta, Nigeria. October 2012.

A female patient at Galkayo Mental Health Center tries to escape the hospital. Puntland, Somalia. June 2011.

Relatives of mentally ill men and women drop off family members to the City of Rest, a facility where an elderly Pastor claims to heal people with mental illness. Healing can take months, and chains are used to restrain some of the “guests.” Freetown, Sierra Leone. February 2013.

While the staff at this Rehabilitation facility outside the Niger Delta city of Port Harcourt denied that they house children, the photographer found one mentally impaired child (around 8 years old) sleeping on the floor in the room for the “high risk” male inmates. The child had been there for 3 months. Another, around 14 years old was also sleeping on the floor in the same room. The Niger Delta, Nigeria. October 2012.

This so called Rehabilitation facility outside the Niger Delta city of Port Harcourt holds over 170 people with mental illness or mental disability. The Niger Delta, Nigeria. October 2012.

On the outskirts of Monrovia, Catherine Mills Psychiatric Hospital was destroyed in the civil war and is now occupied by refugees from the war. Liberia. January 2013.


11 Responses to “Mental Illness in Sub-Saharan Afrika”

  1. mstoogood4yall October 18, 2013 at 8:50 AM #

    that is sad, dang in chains and being abused all because of something they can’t control. They need treatment facilities dang it sucks to not know what to do or how to help. I don’t really trust organizations that say they are trying to help as a lot of them are scams. smh

    • hunglikejesus October 18, 2013 at 6:29 PM #

      There are NGOs that go in under the guise of helping but are nothing but more rapist.

      I really can’t tell you anything more than that. Nobody really cares for mentally ill except spin doctor who are looking to separate people from their money.

  2. Estelle October 18, 2013 at 8:54 AM #

    If a family has rejected the person with a mental illness then there is no hope. A group home (for profit), an institution, or the streets. A person with mental illness needs to in the care of MENTALLY HEALTHY people and in this time period it getting harder and harder to find Mature mentally functional Adults. Too many of our Black people are undiagnosed and unlike those inadequate facilities and abusively ignorant treatments in Africa, the Black people in the Western world are walking around with psychological fetters and emotional outbursts not to mention those who are locked in the prisons and mental institutions. A good number of Black people are rewarded by WS and they hold doctorate and master degrees, political offices, important titles, prominent position, and are popular.

    • hunglikejesus October 18, 2013 at 6:57 PM #

      You are very correct Sista Estelle. Most and I mean most Black people are functioning with some sort of mental illness. If you look closely at Black people when you’re out and about you’ll see it. And self-hate is a mental illness. It’s a wonder that we have made it this far. It really speaks to the strength that we have in us. We stand no matter the condition we stand.

      Also, until our mental health issues are addressed we can forget about anything working out for us.

  3. Kushite Prince October 18, 2013 at 2:37 PM #

    Good post Jesus.These pics are haunting! But it is a reality that must be addressed. We can’t turn a blind eye to this. These people need real help. This is heartbreaking to see. 😦

    • hunglikejesus October 18, 2013 at 7:05 PM #

      I’m really don’t know where to turn to for info on how to help. Afrika is a Black hole when it comes to aid. It makes it makes it there then vanishes. Corruption is the norm.

      We can keep sending our thoughts their way and left them up to the universe. Yes, that’s all I have right on.

  4. Jeff Nguyen October 18, 2013 at 6:39 PM #

    Mental illness is the stigma that won’t go away. Once labeled, it’s unshakeable. Before I was a teacher I worked as a social worker with adults with mental illness and developmental disabilities. I saw firsthand the isolation and loneliness many experience. The conditions in many state hospitals were deplorable until the community based living movement started to move residents back into the community with supports and services provided where they lived rather than in an institution.

    • hunglikejesus October 18, 2013 at 7:24 PM #

      Again, thank you for your input.

      I have never been to a state run dumping ground, but I’ve heard many stories. How they turn people out just to free up space; I don’t know if that’s good or bad. How patients are drugged all day as to be little or no work for staff. It goes on and on and we don’t want to hear about it or know about it. The mentally ill are not easy to deal with. But something has to be done outside of turning them lose on the street.

  5. mary burrell October 18, 2013 at 8:42 PM #

    They got those people in chains, wtf! That is inhumane. That is horrible. But these are diasporic African people, I am stupid for even asking, where are the human rights advocates. That right there is a damn shame.

    • hunglikejesus October 19, 2013 at 8:57 PM #

      Nobody seems to care Ms. Mary, either that or they are so far off the beaten trail until they get passed by. We can only hope that this layout will get something happening soon.

  6. villagewriter September 2, 2015 at 2:25 AM #

    AID does not work and has not worked in any place in the world. The way aid is dispensed to African countries is that it comes with myriad of conditions and usually the aid giver usually gets triple the amount they gave out in aid anyway. I am an African and I can tell you that this idea of tying mentally ill people usually happens in rural areas where there is a lot of poverty and most people do not know how to deal with mental illness. Whenever you see such pictures, find a real African and ask them what really happens on the ground, and get the information you need. It only took a famine in dictator controlled Ethiopia for the whole of Africa (a huge continent) to be branded a wasteland.

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