As the country grapples with the coronavirus pandemic there is need to focus the impact the crisis on the mentally sick people.
Mombasa Women Empowerment Network chair Amina Abdalla says coronavirus poses new challenges to many with mental illnesses, thus the need for special focus from the relevant authorities and other stakeholders.
The activist said while everyone else was being encouraged to stay at home as part of the guidelines to limit the spread of COVID-19, mentally challenged people have been neglected and were walking on the streets and market places, posing a danger to themselves and the wider society.
She said most of the mentally sick people were used to eating food disposed by hotels and restaurants in the region, but with most hotels now closed, their lives are in grave danger.
“As someone who also works with the mentally ill, I believe is need to give special attention to those with severe mental illnesses,” added Abdalla.
The chair spoke when her organization rounded up several mentally sick people from the streets of Mombasa and took them to rehabilitation centres, from where they would later rejoin their families.
She said her organization targets to round up over 100 mentally challenged people and take them to rehabilitation centres.
Abdalla said the society seems to have rejected mentally sick people, leaving them to wander in the streets, without care even during this time of the public health crisis.
She said those who show tremendous progress after rehabilitation will be given some skills training to fend for themselves, while her organization would provide them with some startup capital to venture into income generating activities.