Tanzania: Mental Health Problems Escalate Violence, Suicide


THE increase in number of people with mental health problems in the country has been cited as a major cause of escalating incidences of violence as well as the number of people committing suicide.

According to Director of Curative Services in the Ministry of Health Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr Omary Ubuguyu, some mental problems go direct proportionally with acts of anger and negative attitudes towards family members and those outside their families.

Incidences of domestic violence continue increasing countrywide with the recent one occurring in Sumbawanga, Rukwa Region where a petty trader identified as Chacha Nyangoso chopped off the ears of his girlfriend, Doricas Richard (23) for jealousy. Mr Nyangoso, who owns a butchery in Sumbawanga Municipality, is alleged to have fled with both the ears that he chopped off from his girlfriend, who resides at Bible area within the Municipality.

At the weekend, Rukwa Regional Commissioner Joseph Mkirikiti directed the Regional Police Commander, Mashenene Mayila to arrest the suspect so that he can face the full wrath of the law. During an interview, Dr Ubuguyu said the family was an institution that needed collaboration between two spouses and problems in the family ought to be solved via dialogue between two members in order to control mental disorders.

“Someone who is not mentally stable is likely to suffer from mental illness and cannot be able to control temper and feelings to look at the impact on whatever decision is made,” said Dr Ubuguyu. However, Dr Ubuguyu asked parents and guardians to avoid unnecessary anger in front of their children as it was hurting them, whenever they see their parents fighting thus inheriting the habits as the best solution for solving family wrangles.