All psychiatric┬áwings in the newly build hospitals in Botswana have been closed after it was noticed that they were not┬áproperly built to house mentally ill patients safely.
Information reaching Sunday Standard is that the hospitals were closed after some psychiatric patients┬ásuffered injuries in the wards that were built with structures that had mirrors and glasses.
The Ministry had to take a decision to close the wings as it posed danger to the patients.
The Assistant Minister of Health, Gaothaetse Mathabaphiri, confirmed in an interview that the psychiatric┬áwings were closed after the Ministry became aware that such wings were not properly built to accommodate psychiatric patients.
┬áMathabaphiri stated that all the new hospitals in Maun, Serowe, Molepolole and Lobatse, currently accommodate psychiatric patients only in the out-patient department.
He said that there is need to deploy people who have knowledge on how such buildings should be erected whenever hospitals are being built.
Mathabaphiri indicated that some hospitals, such as Athlone Hospital, had gone ahead and used their psychiatric wings but some patients ended up injuring themselves in those wards.
Meanwhile, the government has been urged to move away from hospitalizing psychiatric patient after injuries were reported.
University of Botswana Head of Psychology, Sophie Moagi, stated that the country should introduce group homes as opposed to┬áhospitalization of psychiatric patients. She said that Botswana should follow the example of developed countries and introduce ┬ágroup homes for people with mental illness, adding that such group homes had proved that patients are able to recover.
Moagi said that group homes offer the comfort of a home-like atmosphere for mental patients to recover and reintegrate into the society.
She noted that group homes also offer patients life skills.┬á
Moagi stated that there is a need to look at how psychiatric hospitals operate and then find out if indeed programmes that are in place are able to help in the reintegration of the patients back into the society.