Mentally ill man commits suicide at Port Reitz Hospital

The mental patient from Kilifi had been taken by his family to the only public mental facility at the Coast after his condition deteriorated at home on Friday.

Changamwe police boss Peter Omanwa told the Nation that the death had nothing to do with the nurse’s strike.

A patient committed suicide using his belt at the Port Reitz Mental Hospital in Mombasa.

A source at the hospital said the man was admitted to the hospital and remained wearing his clothes instead of being stripped in a strong room as is the norm at such mental institutions.

“Normally, when a patient is violent, he or she is taken to the strong room and has to be naked.


This is meant to ensure the patient does not harm himself or herself with clothes or shoes. It is pure negligence  to admit a mental patient with clothes,” said the source who wished to remain anonymous since she is not authorised to speak to the press.

“He was taken to the hospital by his parents and was attended to. When the health workers realised they could not discharge him, they injected him to calm him down and took him to the strong room for observation,” Mr Omanwa said on the phone.

He said when the clinical officers later went to check on him, they found him dead.


His body was taken to the Coast Provincial General Hospital mortuary.

The police boss said the man committed suicide in the room using his belt.

The source said the clinical officers who took charge of the situation should not have  been left to handle such a critical case.

“How could they admit a patient with clothes in a strong room?” added the source.


At the same time, two mentally ill patients who had been locked at the institution without care following the nurses’ job boycott have been transferred to the maternity wing of the Port Reitz District Hospital.

“The mental patients do not have relatives, so whenever there is a health crisis such as the strike, they are normally left on their own,” added the source.

The source said anyone who goes for services is turned away due to the crisis.

“We are afraid they might relapse due to lack of medical care,” said a striking nurse.


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