The Executive Director of Butabika National Referral Hospital, Dr. Juliet Nakku has called for the streamlining of the health care system to include perinatal mental care services at all health facilities to attend to victims of such mental disorders.
The first year post-delivery time, six to eight weeks after delivery is the most risky time for mental health disorders in women according to experts.
According to Dr. Nakku, new mothers are not properly taken care of, more so young parents find it a life-altering period that often triggers poor mental health yet the same is generally ignored in maternity care units. She says it is about time this is addressed
“We need to design our system in such a way that the mental health of these mothers is taken care of every time they present to us in the health facilities. Unfortunately, we miss these conditions in the maternity units. Many health workers forget to look into the mental health of the mother. We need to design documentation processes that ensure that health workers are asking the right questions more so on depression because it is the commonest’’ noted Dr. Nakku.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), almost one in five women will experience a mental health condition during pregnancy or in the year after birth, and among women with perinatal mental health conditions, around 20 percent will experience suicidal thoughts or undertake acts of self-harm.