The University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) has pledged to continue producing mental health experts who will be close to the community so that they can be able to solve the problems in society.
This was said today by the UDSM Principal, College of Social Sciences, Prof Christine Noe when the she visited Muungano Recover Community (MRC) Kigamboni Sober House in Dar es Salaam to provide various items and counseling.
“We have come to see what is going on so that when we prepare curricula we can develop curricula that are compatible with real life in society and find solutions while the victim gives a testimony,” said Prof Noe adding the college produces more than 1000 graduates every year including those in sociology who provide psychology services.
“The College is involved in research related to our community and the problems that exist in society. It is part of understanding the problems in detail but also collaborating with the communities we have to research all the time,” said Prof Noe
“Students can also provide services at the centers and learning more about what is in the community and understanding the fact than what they learn while they are in the classroom,” she said
Along with counseling, the college also provided various items including maize, beans, flour, rice, sugar, cooking oil, soap, drinking water, juice and they had lunch together.
Addicted Najma Benanga asked the government and private sectors to support them so that they can grow economically since they have recovered.
“Now, I have recovered and I am asking the government to support us because we have changed completely. When it comes to employment they should not stigmatize us, instead give us priority to see that we are valued in the society. We are winners and nothing is impossible and we have changed so they should not discriminate against us,” said Ms Benaga.
Ms Benanga appealed to her fellow youths not to get involved in the drug and also parents not to abandon their children saying that they were dependent on themselves but it was a situation that happened unexpectedly.
On his part the MRC Manager, Khamis Agib said victims can stop using drugs by following instructions and attend the training provided at the sober houses.
He said alcohol has been contributing to a great extent the mental health than is understood by society adding, “Most of the people we receive here at the centre are those who use excessive alcohol rather than those who use drugs”.
Mr Agib advised the community to help those with problems by taking them to centers to get treatment since cure is available, they should work together to be able to eradicate the problem.
“First of all, the person who is brought should have a firm intention to change, otherwise we have to spend almost a month to counsel him so that he accepts the problem.
“Our programmes take three months to one year for a person to recover since we have sessions in the morning, afternoon and evening and they also meet with psychologists twice a week.
Mr Agib said thei centrer have served more than 970 drug victims while the center currently has 50 victims, of whom 40 are men and 10 are women.
The Kigamboni Municipal Mental Health Coordinator, Mr Francis Mwita who is also a mental health practitioner at Vijibweni hospital said the problem of mental health is big since young people still use drugs.
“Mental health problems can be caused in various ways such as heredity, unknown causes and the use of drugs/alcohol or mental stress due to various problems.
Mr Mwita said towards the mark of World Mental Health Day on October 10 2022, according to World Health Organisation (WHO) one out of eight people suffer from mental health disease while 970m people worldwide were suffering from mental health disease, WHO report of 2019.
“I believe that if the community continues to provide education, the problem can be ended. Therefore I ask my fellow Tanzanians to continue providing education to eradicate drugs problem and excessive of alcohol consumption,” said Mr Mwita.