Psychiatric Care Home: A Job Well Done! [Archives:1998/40/Health]

October 5 1998

The psychiatric care home was established in April 1991. It started providing some basic psychiatric caring services. Then, it started giving qualifying services. It employs around 39 persons; 21 in the medical affairs, 10 nurses, 3 psychiatrists, 2 doctors, 2 social researchers, 2 female specialists, a pharmacist and a laboratory technician. The home can accommodate 60 beds. The number of the patients reached 30 in August, 1998 but it is fluctuating. Ten of the patients are homeless and without relatives. When it was opened, the home received 24 patients from the central prison who were subsequently cured. The number of patients who visited the home and stayed for some time is 2,000 and the regular visitors by the end of 1997 reached 10,000 males and females. It is noted that the age of the female patients range between 20 to 90. The duration of the stay in the home ranges between one to two months and can be prolonged. Food is served; the breakfast consists of beans, bread and tea; the lunch is composed of rice, fish; the dinner of beans and eggs. But it is not the same; it is occasionally diversified.
It is visible that the home is short of many facilities like EEG, CT SCAN, some medical solutions, medicines ..etc.
The Patient & Society
A person suffering from a psychological disorder is not given the full care needed from our society. People are ignorant of what he/she really needs. Some people take their patients to sorcerers thinking that he/she is under the control of jinnis and evil spirits. Some sorcerers beat the patients up and put them in a dark room for one or two months under the pretext of disillusioning him/her of the evil spirits. People should be educated about the importance of taking them to psychiatrists rather than sorcerers.
Reasons of Psychiatric Disease
1- Hereditary factors and also because of the person’s infection since his childhood.
2- The reason can be also economic, fragile family relationship, divorce, failure in study.
3- Other factors that can help in evolving the psychiatric disease is the death of one of the sick person’s relatives, bankruptcy, childbirth and its pressures.
Who Enters the Home?
The patient who has to be kept in the home for treatment should be diagnosed by the doctor and given some medicine and get an order of her stay in the home. She should also obtain a guarantee from the police station. The third condition is that the patient should reach the extent of being a danger to himself and others with no-one to look after him.
The Home Future Plan
Dr. Mohammed Hizam Al-Makramy told the Yemen Times that the home performs many services, such as giving diagnosis, medicine, health care, educating the working staff, patients and trainees from the faculty of medicine. It also provides some sports and entertainments. He also indicated that the home will have a male branch occupying 60 beds. The home will also start sending missions to different regions in the country.
Moreover, it will conduct educating programs through mass media. Dr. Makramy also added that the home is supported by the Islah Charitable Society and some other benefactors. Unfortunately, there is no foreign support for the home but there is, according to Dr. Makramy, a contact between the home, British Council and British Embassy in Sanaa regarding the funding of a course in nursing.
Psychiatric disease is of two kinds: psychotic and neurotic. The neurotic disease results from social and environmental factors like hysteria, blindness, paralysis, hypochondrias, etc. But the reasons for psychotic disease afflicting women of the center are the pregnancy poison, inflammation of the urinary tract. Some patients commit suicide because of the grief resultant from brain disturbance. A study, conducted in the center, showed that 10% of sick females of the center suffer from emotional disturbance, 20% from neurotic disturbance resultant from gastric diseases, 40% from schizophrenia.
In some cases electric shocks are used for treatment. According to Dr. Mohammed Mahdy Al-Zabidy, these shocks are of quicker effect than medicines. He adds that they resort to them because some patients need a constant observation otherwise they will kill themselves. “One shock for a schizophrenic person is better than going to the sorcerers” he said. For the mentally psychotic people they use medicines like chlorpromazine, stelazine, clopixol, perphenazine. And the mentally grieved people are given imipramine, suvmmtol, fluexeline and cipram. For neurosis the following drugs are given: neurdeptics, buspirone, tranquilizers, clomipramne.
Psychic Specialists
The home has a good number of psychiatric specialists. There are specialists for the internal and external clinics. Ms. Suad Ali Saad says that after the doctor diagnoses the patient, it is the psychiatric specialist who conducts the social research with the help of the patient’s family.
If her sickness is psychotic, she is brought to the center but if it is neurotic, sessions are assigned by the doctor for sometime till she is cured. The patients watch TV from 10 a.m. till 11 a.m.
They can also practice some skills like sewing, drawing, decorating. When it becomes visible that they have improved, they are taken to the female society wherein they are given some exercises and certificates and then even sewing machines. In fact, they have their own sewing teacher.
Dr. Mohammed Abdu Khalid Al-Shara’aby, laboratory operator, told us that the examinations made in the center are general, kidney functions, x-ray. He adds that the home needs sets like hotairouen, inalabtor, anaerobic system, spectrophotometer. The pharmacy of the house, according to Dr. Jameel Saeed Ali, is short of medicines.
A Good Job!
Finally, we can say that the home is doing a lot for society. I have been told that a sick female was once brought from the central prison to the home. At that time she couldn’t remember anything about her family. But after medical treatment given to her at the house, she could remember that she had a family and that she was married with a son.
She could also remember her village. This encouraged the doctor to take her to her village. When the doctor asked about her, he was told that she had died. But her son was able to recognize her and this made all the attendants weep. This is an example of what the center is doing.
By: Hannan Al-Humaidy