Right from time immemorial, humanity has been afflicted with various diseases and disorders. Although we have made very impressive progress in science and technology, some of these diseases have defied all attempts to find a lasting cure. This brings to mind the conditions such as the much-dreaded Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), cancer, diabetes and hypertension. Apart from these well-known diseases, there are some others, which are not too obvious.
In this class are the mental disorders of various types. Of all the numerous diseases known to affect humans, psychiatric disorders happen to be some of the most problematic and challenging. The main reason for this is the fact that the mechanisms responsible are poorly understood.
This should not come as a surprise especially when we know that the brain is the most complex structure in existence. In various parts of Africa, millions of people are mentally-challenged. In a continent that is ravaged by wars, poverty and so many ills, it is not surprising that not a few citizens have gone gaga.
However, the most painful aspect of the phenomenon is the fact that the mentally-challenged in Africa are almost always neglected and ostracized even by the close family members. Those that are in government are more concerned with how to loot the treasury rather than how to take good care of the psychologically-imbalanced ones.
The widespread belief in Africa is that whoever suffers from a psychiatric condition is doing so because of his or her own handiwork. They say that the psychiatric condition, especially schizophrenia is a punishment from the gods. As a result, they are abandoned to roam the streets, at times stark naked without any form of hygiene. They are living but dead. In a case where your own family disowns you because your brain is misfiring, then you are as good as a zombie.