Open Letter to the Kenyan Electorate from Persons w/ #mentalhealth disorders

12:10:00 PM

Dear Kenyans,
You have watched them debate,
You have seen the campaigns; choppers, branded vehicles and pollution on our walls,
You have read through their manifestos or eavesdropped on them,
You have your tickets ready for Monday's show down,
Before you cast those votes,

I, Sitawa Wafula, a person with a mental
health disorder, would like to speak on my behalf and on behalf of many others like me, some who can stand and speak for themselves and those who cannot even stand let alone speak for themselves. Statistics show every 1 in 4 persons has a mental health disorder or is on their way to getting one. I would like you to pose at lunch hour and look at your 4 colleagues, pose at 5p as you meet up with the guys and at 4 of you, 1 of you has a mental health disorder or is on their way to getting one. Look at Kenya as a whole, that is 25% of the economy, 10 Million Kenyans.. KNCHR Human Rights Audit of Mental Health System in Kenya further shows that out of this 10 Million, only 1.5 M will end up receiving treatment with the remaining 8.5 M left out of the treatment gap due to lack of mental health care services in the community and primary health care facilities, unavailability of psychotropic drugs and rehabilitation centre among other factors...and to that figure, add the millions of care givers, they need care too.
Our constitution clearly states, Every person has a right to the highest attainable health care. Those persons include persons with mental health, it includes me, it includes the 1.5 M who know about their illnesses, it includes the 8.5 M who have been left out of the treatment gap...8.5 M denied their constitutional right, 8.5 M denied their human right.
I was not born with a mental health disorder, it caught up with me in my early twenties. It can catch up with any of you too, with your lover, with your sister, with your brother, with your baby. It is not a curse, I consider myself blessed every waking day. It is not an act of witchcraft. It doesn't respect age, it doesn't respect social status, it just catches up.
It is therefore our responsibility as Kenyans to be each other's keeper and vote in a government that promotes health as one of the KEY basic needs for Kenyans, all Kenyans.
One that will implement the 15% National budget to health stand as required by statutes Kenya is a signatory to.
One that is made of people with a saying and doing track record and not a saying and resaying-she say,he say record.
We have had many Acts and Committee findings and recommendations in this country that have not seen the implementation side of life. One such act is the Mental Health Act of 1989. Events have come and overtook this act.Some of the proposals have not seen the light of day because of money issues, money we know financed scandal after scandal in this country instead of taking care of 25% of the citizens.
As you go vote on Monday, vote for health conscious people,
Vote for people who will give audience to the 2nd reading of the Mental Health care Bill 2012, we seriously need legislation.
Vote for people who will ensure medication is easily accessible.
Vote for people who will ensure community and primary health facilities offer mental health care services to prevent the never ending commute to Mathari by people as far as Busia.
Vote for people who have your best interests at heart should a mental health disorder catch up with you or your loved ones.
Vote on behalf of all those people feature on McKenzie's feature on CNN about Kenya's Mental Health state,
Vote on behalf of celebrities like Conjestina and many other celebrities and socialites whose stories never make it the public domain.
Vote on behalf of those who are not celebrities, who have never made news.
Vote on behalf of who cannot go out and vote on Monday because there only restrain is being chained to a tree.
You have watched them debate,
You have seen the campaigns; choppers, branded vehicles and pollution on our walls,
You have read through their manifestos or eavesdropped on them,
You have your tickets ready for Monday's show down,
Go and vote on our behalf.
Go and vote on your behalf.
Sending love and light.

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