Here Is Why More Ugandan Women Are Getting Mental Illnesses

“Woman emancipation has contributed greatly to women's consumption of alcohol”

Credit New Vision


Compiled By Markson Omagor


There is an apparent increase in the number of women with mental cases in the Country fueled mainly by the growing alcohol and drug abuse, according to a senior psychiatrics at Butabika Hospital.


Though bars have been shut down for 6 months, medics at Butabika National Psychiatric Referral are receiving so many young girls and women aged 18-30 for drug abuse and old women for consuming a lot of alcohol.


Speaking to Saturday Vision, Dr Juliet Nakku, the acting executive director of Butabika hospital, noted that if women who are abusing drugs are not helped in time, at the end of the year, they will be no space for them in the hospital.


“Right now, we have over 350 women with mental cases at the facility, 25% are admitted because of drug abuse and this has contributed to the increase in divorce and disruption of families,” Nakku noted.



Butabika hospital has a capacity of 550 beds but during the corona virus pandemic this number increased to 950 and later to over 1,000.


Without citing definite figures, Nakku revealed that several women are consuming alcohol because they are exposed, have money and they are trying to copy the western culture.


“Long ago it was hard to find a woman drunk but these days, women drink from morning to evening, this is happening because they are free, can afford to take themselves to bars and buy drinks.


I cannot stop them from drinking alcohol, but pregnant women should desist from drinking because the effects are highly marked on the babies,” noted Nakku.



She also decried the failure by most husbands to support their wives, sisters or mothers.


She said that though changing the behavior of such people is not easy and cannot happen overnight, men should understand and support them.


Afuswa Lukwata, a commissioner in charge of mental health at the ministry of health noted woman emancipation has contributed greatly to women’s consumption of alcohol, saying that many feel that they are free to do whatever they want, hang out with colleagues who drink and that way many have become addicted.




“During the lockdown, many women did not have jobs, some would struggle to get what to give their children, they became stressed and depressed and to them alcohol was a solution to their problems,” noted Nehemiah Natukunda programmes manager at Health Promotion and Rights Watch Uganda



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