KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): The Red Crescent Society in southern Kandahar province has dedicated a building in the provincial capital to keep and treat mentally ill people.
In the past, mentally sick people were kept in prisons but now they would be cared for in the facility, officials say.
Hafiz Abdul Salam Agha, head of the asylum, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the facility was set up as per directives and recommendation of Haji Mohammad Yusuf Wafa, the governor of Kandahar. Some of the mad people who were previously held in prisons are being cared for and treated in the new facility.
Agha said the governor was currently bearing the costs of the facility where about 40 patients are kept.
Besides a special team deployed in the facility to provide food, water and other services to the mentally ill people, specialist doctors also come at regular intervals and treat them, he said
“Here we protect and treat the mad people who create problems and headaches for their families and the community. Some of them had killed their father and other family members with axes and other tools because they had mental problems.”
He noted if assisted by aid giving agencies and organizations, they would be able to protect and treat more such people.
Agha said families of very few mad people were known and most of these patients were residents of other provinces and there was no information about their families.
Some of these mentally ill people speak fluently and can provide information about themselves and their families.
One of them, Hafizullah, a resident of Badakhshan province, is currently in good health.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News that previously he was kept in Kandahar jail and now he was brought here and now he is in good condition.
He added: “I was mentally ill. I had an argument at home and them I came to Kandahar. I did not know the difference between good and bad. Security forces arrested me and took me to prison. I was treated there. I’m fine now. ”
Residents of Kandahar welcomed the Red Crescent Society’s move, saying that the organization recently collected mad people from the city and sent them to the facility, who had harmed their families.
Aimal, a resident of Kandahar City, told Pajhwok Afghan News that in the past, a number of mad people were seen on the streets of the city and they created trouble for residents.
He added the mentally sick persons often created problems for their family members and other people but now they have been collected and kept in the asylum.
A few months ago, a new building for such patients was built and inaugurated in Kandahar city by the Red Crescent Society on the zone level.
However, the building is still unused.
The three-storey building was constructed on a 8280-square-meter plot of land in Aino Mena township at a cost of 61 million afghanis funded by the Red Crescent Society.
It was said at the time that the building would house and care for homeless children, women and mad people from four southern provinces, including Kandahar.