The Ministry of Health report reveals that about 14 million Ugandans are suffering from severe mental illness. Uganda has a population of 48,406,028.
According to Dr. Charles Olalo, Director of Curative Services, the number of people with mental disorders has grown exponentially in the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Olalo said before the COVID-19 pandemic, 35% of the population suffered from mental health disorders, but this number has since increased with a rise in patients seeking treatment in health facilities.
The ministry revealed that Uganda ranks sixth in Africa among countries with depressive disorders.
According to the report, post-COVID-19 trauma, depression, high levels of stress, excessive drinking of alcohol, poverty, and loneliness are affecting Ugandans’ mental health, which sometimes leads to suicidal incidents.
Despite the rise in the number of mental cases, Uganda only has 42 psychiatrists, which means every psychiatrist has to attend to about one million patients.