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Goma Mental Hospital
October 3, 2016
Michael Christopher Brown has been traveling extensively in the conflict-ravaged eastern Democratic Republic of Congo since 2012. He recalled coming across people suffering from psychiatric disorders and wondered if there was any place for them to go, especially since hospital access is limited. In 2016 Brown was able to visit one of the few mental health facilities in the eastern DRC, the Brothers of Charity Sante Mental Hospital in Goma. Without any government support, two psychologists and a few nurses provide treatment to 45 patients at a time. Nearby, the same order runs a school for children suffering from mental disabilities.
According to Brother Jacob Kazadi Nsumbu, who runs the hospital, many of the patients have been cast away from their families due to the local stigma against mental illness. He considers it part of his mission to convince the public that there’s nothing wrong with seeking treatment.
Read Brown’s account and view his images on National Geographic.

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