Anti-gambling clinics have been opened in Nairobi to curb the rising addiction to betting mainly affecting the youth. These clinics target to rehabilitate sports betting addicts and those who suspect they have a gambling problem.
“But now we want to open our health facilities and say if you have stress, you can get help. Counseling is not just for HIV,” said Stella Waruinge, City mental health coordinator at a conference in Nairobi Yesterday.
She addressed gambling addiction as a mental health issue and Head of mental health at the Ministry of Health Dr Simon Njuguna said 10 per cent of Kenyans suffer various mental health problems.
“It’s a major problem but the prevalence is similar to other parts of the world,” he said.
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A recent GeoPoll survey of youth between the ages of 17-35 in sub-Saharan Africa, shows Kenya had the highest number of youth who were frequently gambling.
“When people lose bets every day, they need help because it affects them psychologically,” Waruinge said.
The services are available to anyone struggling with Gambling addiction ad can be sought from at Ngara and Kariobangi health centres and Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital.