Monday, February 13, 2012

The State of Psychiatry in Afghanistan

From last summer here is what is being done for broken people:
The afternoon tour of the hospital was both better and worse than I had imagined. The bad news is that yes, they do chain people to the beds (in some hospitals they have to raise the cost of their own chains); there are 10 patients in a small room (all day – with nowhere else to go), sat on beds which almost touch each other; nobody is admitted unless their relatives come too to look after them; nurses are almost non-existent; efficient psychiatrists can see 60 patients in little over an hour; the forensic ward is only different because it has more chains.

BUT the patients do talk together, appear generally well fed and clothed, seem to care about each other, sometimes include spiritual healing in their treatment, receive medication efficiently, and only have a 5 second waiting time for psychological treatment. The last one is not a test to see if you are still awake, but the way the outpatient clinic works: 1-2 minutes with the doctor and nurse (the doctor interviewing, diagnosing and prescribing and the nurse completing the notes) then along to the next table with a psychologist as soon as you have finished, if the psychiatrist thinks it will help. You might not get very long for your session, though, and none of it all is exactly confidential…
The whole of a short tour can be reached via this tag.

4 comments:

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

And don't worry if those broken people get fixed...we'll make more!
~

Substance McGravitas said...

At some point you must run out of beds and chains.

vacuumslayer said...

Not if you use the same bed and chains each time. I mean, erm, so I have heard...

wiley said...

Sounds eerily familiar. No chains necessary when docs use a combo of depakote, zyprexa, and ativan. Patients will shuffle, mumble, and not remember most of it; so doc sez "you crazy".