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Psychiatry Staff


The department of Psychiatry started in 1965 as a four room unit at Mbarara hospital. It was being managed by staff sent by Butabika hospital. It was a secluded unit with no patient records or attendants at that time. There used to be a visiting Psychiatrist once a month from Butabika hospital.
The first nurses in the unit were Nshekanabo (SEN) as the first in-charge, then James Kainamura (NO), Fred Kururagire (NO), Regina Mubiru (NO) as subsequent in-charges and there after Sister Mulindwa Gorretti who is the current Nurse In-Charge of the department.

In 1991, Dr. Marian Muller, a medical Officer with interest in Psychiatry came from the Netherlands and established community mental health rehabilitation services in Mbarara district. She was later joined by the late Johnson Barigye who was a PCO. He was able to serve for about six months before he died.

Later, in 1992, Elias Byaruhanga, a PCO joined the unit. The psychiatry unit became a department in 1992. Dr. Muller went back to the Netherlands in 1993, leaving Mr. Elias Byaruhanga in charge of the department.

In 1995, the first Psychiatrist, Dr. Van Duyl Marjolin from the Netherlands, worked for five years and went back, also leaving a PCO (Elias Byaruhanga)  in Charge.
In 2000, Dr. Mary McCathy, a Clinical Psychologist from the United States of America headed the department for 3 years. In 2003, Dr. Wallace Jeremy came under THET and headed the department for one year. In December 2004, the first Ugandan Psychiatrist, Dr. Samuel Maling joined the department from Butabika hospital. In October 2005, the second Ugandan Psychiatrist, Dr. Godfrey Rukundo joined the department after completing his training at Makerere. Dr. Schola Ashaba joined the department as the third UgandanPsychiatrist, in August 2008.

At the moment, the department has three Psychiatrists, three PCOs, two social workers, two counselors, three Nursing Officers and five Enrolled Nurses.

The department of psychiatry is recognized a center for excellence in mental Health care, research and training in South Western Uganda.  It aims to promote quality of training and research in mental health and to provide holistic mental health care. Therefore, the staffs in the department do the teaching of students and also offer Clinical service to persons with mental health problems.

Due the increasing need for mental health services at community level, the department of Psychiatry established a community outreach program that targets five districts in South western Uganda. For more than 10 years, this community outreach program has been and continues to be the model program in the whole country. This program has helped many mentally ill people who would not have otherwise been able to regularly come to the hospital.

More information can be obtained from the following contacts:
Dr. Godfrey Zari Rukundo (Head of Department)

Associate Proffessor Samuel Maling (Dean Faculty of Medicine)
Dr. Scholastic Ashaba (Clinical Coordinator)
Mr. Elias Byaruhanga (Coordinator for the Community Outreach program)



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