20 May, 2011
MOGADISHU, Somalia – Hassan Qasim lies shackled to a wall in a hallway with 25 other patients at a clinic for the mentally ill in Somalia.
The country has been mired in civil war for almost as long as he’s been alive. Doctors say the 25-year-old’s brother and sister both were killed in front of him. Soon after Qasim began wandering the streets naked.
The World Health Organization estimates that one in three Somalis have suffered from some kind of mental illness, a rate that is among the highest in the world.
Somalia is also among the worst places on earth to have a mental illness.
Resources are so limited that many are simply chained up without medication. The country has just three psychiatrists at its main mental health facilities nationwide.