Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /usr/www/users/urnnet/a/story.php on line 43
Illicit Sales of Alcohols Costs Hospitals over a Million Shillings for Treatment of a Patient :: Uganda Radionetwork
Breaking

Illicit Sales of Alcohols Costs Hospitals over a Million Shillings for Treatment of a Patient

Charles Eyoung, the Psychiatric Medical Officer at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital revealed that the treatment of a single patient cost more than a million Shillings, which the government isn’t providing. Naltrexone, one of the most expensive drugs used for the treatment of mental health patients tentatively costs the government Shillings 650,000.
Section of the Mental Unit at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital-Photo By Simon Wokorach

Audio 2

Gulu Regional Referral Hospital Mental Health Unit is battling with the rising number of patients with alcohol use disorders due to lack of drugs. Psychiatric Unit has registered over 300 patients from January to May this year seeking treatment for disorders resulting from alcohol abuse.  

Charles Eyoung, the Psychiatric Medical Officer at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital revealed that the treatment of a single patient cost more than a million Shillings, which the government isn’t providing. Naltrexone, one of the most expensive drugs used for the treatment of mental health patients tentatively costs the government Shillings 650,000.

However, this medicine hasn’t been delivered to the hospital for decades.  The drug is used for treating patients with alcohol use disorders since it helps to reduce the rewarding effects and craving for alcohol. It also decreases the relapse rate in patients. Eyoung explained that each patient with the condition is required to undergo treatment for three months, which can cost the government more than a million Shillings to procure drugs.

He attributes the upsurge in the number of patients with mental illnesses in the region to high alcohol consumption and drug abuse. According to Eyoung, over Shillings, 328 million is needed to treat patients on a quarterly basis.  

//Cue in: “There are other…       

Cue out…” side effects are,”// 

 

According to Eyoung, the hospital received 9061 patients with different mental health conditions in 2020. “We are seeing many young people in the region presenting with mental illnesses. Within five years from now, if nothing is done it will be tragic,” Eyoung added. He has asked the local leaders in the region to impose sanctions against the sale and consumption of alcohol and drugs to encounter the challenge.

//Cue in: “If the political…”        

Cue out…mental health unit,”// 

 

Dr. James Elima, the Director of Gulu Hospital noted in a recent interview that they are incapacitated to purchase essential drugs due to resource constraints.  “Our budget for the financial year is 2.6 billion Shillings but we end up getting Shillings 1.4 billion and so you have to struggle and squeeze on the budget to make the system works” Dr. Elima added.    

In 2016, Gulu District Local Government passed an ordinance regulating the sale and consumption of alcohol. The ordinance only banned the sale of sachet waragi but allows the producers to repackage it in glass bottles of not less than 250milliliters. Michael Lakony, the Amuru District LC V Chairman blames Uganda National Bureau of Standards for certifying alcohol content, which has flooded the markets.

  

While Psychiatrists in the Region called for research on the contents of the alcohol being sold in the Country, Lakony has urged UNBS to scrutinize the companies dealing in alcohol.  John Paul Musimami, the Deputy Executive Director UNBS In charge of compliance, says that the entity is yet to ascertain the allegation of the illegal sale of alcohol in the Country.