HEALTH minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya says the government has made significant progress in repealing the mental disorders Act of 1949 and was last reviewed in 1951.
Dr Chilufya said the mental disorders Act had very derogatory terms in it like referring to: “mental patients as idiots, imbeciles and other derogatory terms.”
“So, the Zambian government, in transforming the health sector and addressing all facets of health, has embarked on a process to repeal the mental disorders Act, calling it the mental health services Act, which culminates in us entrenching best practices in mental health and also ensuring that the fundamental freedoms and rights of mental health patients are enshrined,” Dr Chilufya told journalists at a briefing in Lusaka on today.
“So, we will be presenting that bill to Parliament soon. But what is important is that Cabinet has approved, in principle, the presentation of the repealed Act to Parliament of the mental disorders Act.”
The minister hailed the country’s clinical care services, saying significant progress had been posted in that area.
“We conducted the separation of Siamese twins – that is an indicator that the clinical care services have improved significantly,” said Dr Chilufya.