Psychiatric Morbidity Among Children In Undugu Society Of Kenya Homes
The study was carried out among children in difficult circumstanceswho were going through a rehabilitation programme in various institutional homes by the Undugu Society - a Non governmental Organization in Kenya (dealing mainly with rehabilitationof street children). Seventy eight children from thethree centres; Eastleigh, Dandora and Kitengela were included in the study. The main objective of this study was to establish the prevalence and pattern of psychiatric morbidity and some of the associated social demographic characteristics in such children. Screening for psychiatric morbidity was done using the Reporting Questionnaire for Children (RQC) and the potential caseswere further subjected to a standard psychiatric interview, Follow-upInterview for Children (F.I.C.). History of drug abuse and other social demographic data were also obtained. Resultsshowed a psychiatric morbidity of 41%. The Dandora home, consisting of children with a relatively shorter time from the streets,had the highest rate of psychiatric morbidity. Historyof drug abuse was reported by 46.2%, while only 3.8% were diagnosed as having drug dependence. Most social demographic factorsstudied did not appear to contribute significantly to the psychiatric morbidity and this was possibly due to the heavy loading of psychostressors common to the majority of the children.