Consultation liaison psychiatry at Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi

  • MA Makanyengo Patients Support Centre, Division of Medicine, Kenyatta National Hospital, P. O. Box 20723- 00202, Nairobi, Kenya
  • CJ Othieno Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, University of Nairobi, P. O. Box 19676-00202, Nairobi
  • VCA Okech Patients Support Centre, Division of Medicine, Kenyatta National Hospital, P. O Box 20723-00202, Nairobi, Kenya


Objectives: To describe the psychiatric services offered at Kenyatta National Hospital and the types of patients and cases seen at Kenyatta National Hospital.
Design: A retrospective study based on case notes and other hospital records.
Setting: Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya
Subjects: All patients seen in the various psychiatric clinics and those who attended the Patient Support Centre Unit in the hospital in the year 2002.
Results: In the year 2002, 598,119 patients were treated at KNH out of which 6,878 (1.15%) were seen in the psychiatric clinics: 1,709 adults and 1,412 children were referred to the various psychiatric clinics. At the hospital's Patient Support Centre (PSC) 3,454 patients were seen, mostly for pre and post-HIV test counselling. Consultations from the wards accounted for 332 (9.6%) of the cases referred to PSC. The main diagnoses among the latter in order of frequency were alcohol related psychiatric disorders, acute and transient psychoses, depressive disorders, dissociative and conversion disorders and dementia.
Conclusion: In view of the high load of acute and transient psychotic states, as well as substance related disorders, it is recommended that the hospital should establish acute wards for the comprehensive management of such patients. An alcohol and drug detoxification and rehabilitation centre should also be developed at the hospital. Services to those with HIV related disorders should also be improved.
East African Medical Journal Vol.82(2) 2005: 80-85

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0012-835X