Friday, 30 January 2015

Uganda blog 30 January 2015 entry 1

Day 2 Psychiatric Ward (Nicola and Jayne)

Our day in the psychiatric ward didn't turn out as expected. We spent the day with a doctor in his out patient clinic held in a small cramped room no place for safe storage of files or books. There was no list of patients who would attend nor did we know if anyone would actually attend. However there was a steady flow of patients all morning. Between the steady flow of patients the Doctor was keen and enthusiastic to know what our role as a Learning Disability Nurse entailed in the UK. He listened attentively asking many questions about conditions and medication writing down things of interest to himself. He asked many questions, from how we managed individuals with a learning disability to was there social exclusion and stigmatisation to name but a few.
The doctor's office

Based on some of the heart-rending stories we heard from people visiting the clinic, stories of abuse, exploitation and having to hide away children with learning disabilites,the Doctor confirmed that unfortunately in many cases this was true, being  the stark reality due to differences in culture of having a child with 'mental retardation' in Uganda. Families hid away their child to avoid social exclusion which was reflected in the records as in all the statistics shown to us there was only 1 recording of mental retardation. Epilepsy, bipolar and depression being the main reason for visiting the clinic. Next stop paediatrics....

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