The podcast tells the story of Sierra Leone’s only psychiatric teaching hospital and inspires a conversation about mental health—in the past, present and future.
How is mental health connected to history? And what can one hospital teach us about it? In Unchain, a new podcast miniseries from Partners In Health, doctors, patients and historians in Sierra Leone tell the story of Sierra Leone Psychiatric Teaching Hospital—the oldest psychiatric hospital in sub-Saharan Africa—which marked its 200th anniversary this year.
This miniseries dives deep into Sierra Leone’s history—including slavery, colonialism and civil war—to explore how the past holds implications for mental health.
Sierra Leone Psychiatric Teaching Hospital—once an impoverished facility that, due to lack of resources, used chains to keep patients from harming themselves and others—tells a story of both trauma and transformation: how the past never fully leaves, but can inform our present and future.
Below, a selection of archival photos offer a special glimpse into the hospital’s past and present.
Clinical trial results presented for the first time today at the Union World Conference on Lung Health revealed evidence to support the use of four new, improved regimens to treat multi-drug resistant tuberculosis or rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis (MDR/RR-TB). The team—led by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Partners In Health (PIH), and Interactive Research and Development (IRD) and funded by Unitaid—formed the endTB consortium and began this Phase III randomized controlled trial in 2017.
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Before becoming ill, Kaizer Mahapa, 44, worked as a street vendor in Maseru, Lesotho, selling jewelry, snacks, and fruits at two roadside stalls; one uptown in Maseru and another in his own yard.
Mahapa, who grew up in rural Lesotho, was diagnosed with HIV in 2019. Two years later, he contracted tuberculosis. He’d never attended school, instead cared for the family’s animals. Mahapa was living with his daughter when he fell ill.