Ethiopia has officially, opened doors to the third mental health rehabilitation centre at Debre Tabor Medical College in Amhara Regional State. The US $1.4m facility is a four -storey building which rests on 1,323 square meters of land inside the premises of Debre Tabor Medical College.
It features a basement which has seven rooms which will serve as be used for mental health rehabilitation and each room is expected to serve five to eight patients at once. Currently it hosts 14 beds but there are plans to expand to more than 35 The building is equipped with microbiology, haematology and proctology laboratories.
It also has sports facilities like basketball, table tennis and art class that will help patients to spend their time engaged in different activities and has space for group therapy where patients discuss in groups of five to ten people.
Hub for mental health care
The first up to the fourth floor of the building is designated as classrooms for the medical students since the centre will also serve as a teaching hospital. In addition, it has a skill lab and problem-based learning classes for medical students. Medical doctors of Debre Tabor Comprehensive Hospital, which has been serving the community since 1930, will give treatment to patients and teach the students as well.
Debre Tabor University in collaboration with Debre Tabor Comprehensive Hospital implemented the project while construction was undertaken by Abay Demse Construction, a local construction firm. Supervision was carried out by CIVIS, another local consultancy firm.
The facility will join together with Meqaomia Community Development Organization in Meqelle and Amanuel Mental Hospital in the capital, in being a hub for mental health care and a destination for researchers, students and volunteers of psychiatry.
Amanuel Mental Hospital had been serving as the only state-owned psychiatric facility in Ethiopia for decades with 300 beds, serving more than 1,000 people a day. Eleven years ago, Meqaomia Community Development Organization joined Amanuel with 30 beds that serve more than 700 patients a year.