Patients found chained up in Limpopo church-run mental facility

13 September 2013 - 14:35 By Sapa
BEKASI, INDONESIA - FEBRUARY 10: The leg of a patient is chained to a post at the Galuh foundation for people with mental health conditions on February 10, 2010 in Bekasi, Indonesia. Belief in black magic is commonplace in Indonesia, where there is much ignorance over mental health issues, with traditional healers instead consulted for apparent sufferers. 2007 figures suggested that 4.6% of the nation suffered from serious mental disorders in a country whose population now stands at around 230 million, with only around 700 psychiatrists across 48 psychiatric hospitals available to help treat those affected. With such limited care, sufferers are instead usually believed to be affected by black magic and thus taken to 'dukuns' or healers believed to have magical powers.
BEKASI, INDONESIA - FEBRUARY 10: The leg of a patient is chained to a post at the Galuh foundation for people with mental health conditions on February 10, 2010 in Bekasi, Indonesia. Belief in black magic is commonplace in Indonesia, where there is much ignorance over mental health issues, with traditional healers instead consulted for apparent sufferers. 2007 figures suggested that 4.6% of the nation suffered from serious mental disorders in a country whose population now stands at around 230 million, with only around 700 psychiatrists across 48 psychiatric hospitals available to help treat those affected. With such limited care, sufferers are instead usually believed to be affected by black magic and thus taken to 'dukuns' or healers believed to have magical powers.
Image: Ulet Ifansasti

Chained-up patients were removed from a church-run mental health and drug rehabilitation centre in Moletjie Mabokelele, Limpopo, following a raid, according to a reported.

The Church of Christ Assemblies was raided by the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), police and social development officials on Wednesday, The Star said.

Supervisors at the facility said prayer, rather than medication, was used to rehabilitate the patients.

"We burn pills and tell them that 'here we use the word of God, not medication'," they said.

SAHRC Limpopo manager Victor Mavhidula said the conditions at the centre were alarming.

"Some of these patients were treated like animals.

"We found people that were chained, something which is against human rights... Our Constitution does not allow chaining of mental patients."

Bruises on some of the patients' backs indicated that they may have been beaten.

Social development spokesman Adel van der Linde said the patients were removed for observation and would be taken to a place of safety.

The recovering drug addicts said they did not object to being chained up.

"Here they don't cut the tree from the top; they dig the roots out and eliminate nyaope cravings through prayer," a 25-year-old patient said.

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