A descriptive analysis of admissions to Amanuel Psychiatric Hospital in Ethiopia
Background: The care of patients with severe mental disorder in Ethiopia remains centralized in the capital city.
Objective: To assess pattern of psychiatric admission and its implication for service provision.
Methods: A descriptive analysis of one-year admission data was undertaken from the only psychiatric hospital in Ethiopia.
Results: The annual age-sex standardized admission rate was 4 per 100 000 (n=1564). Two-thirds of the patients came from Addis Ababa and the immediate surrounding areas. Nearly three-quarters were men, and aged 30 years or younger. Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder were the top two discharge diagnoses. The median length of hospital stay
(LOS) was 63 days. Diagnosis of schizophrenia and place of residence, i.e. living outside of Addis Ababa independently predicted LOS above the median.
Conclusion: Admission data demonstrated a huge mental health unmet need in Ethiopia. Providing adequate resources for modernization and well-supervised decentralization may be vital steps in the quest for accessible and equitable psychiatric care.
The Ethiopian Journal of Health Development Vol. 21 (2) 2007: pp. 173-178