Haramaya University Hiwot Fana Comprehensive Specialized Hospital has established and launched a Forensic Psychiatry centre in Haramaya District Adele Town named as “Haramaya University Hiwot Fana Comprehensive Specialized Hospital Bari Forensic Psychiatry Centre” on August 12, 2021.

According to Dr. Yadeta Dessie, the Chief Executive Director of College of Health and Medical Sciences (CHMS) the centre would serve as an investigation, treatment and research for those people under legal custody but having mental health issues. It is the second centre in the country next to Amanuel Hopital which can address the huge sufferings happenings due to the lack of this kind of service at nearby where the victims have to go to Addis Amanuel Hopital.

On his opening speech made at the launching of the centre, Professor Jeylan Wolyie, Haramaya University’s Vice President for Administration and Student Affairs and delegate of the university president stated that addressing the mental, psychological and emotional health problems of inmates is an important wing of the university’s community engagement. He emphasised that the need-based psychiatric centre is essential for addressing the complex mental and psychological health problems of inmates serving in diverse prisons of East Hararghe Zone. He indicated that the centre was established with the intention to minimise the impact of mental health problems in stifling inmates’ justice and its potential in complicating their social and human rights. He hinted at the moral implication of failing to address the mental health problems of inmates.

Professor Jeylan, in addition, related how the idea of establishing the centre was initiated and the pathways taken to realise its establishment. He also underlined that the centre will enable the university and the prison administrations to use the centre as a site of knowledge creation to generate research-based in-depth understanding on factors that cause and aggravate mental health problems of inmates. He advised the coordinators of the centre to create a robust database for mental health problems of inmates and use that to enrich our understanding on the vastness of the problem.
On behalf of the university, Professor Jeylan promised that the university will continue to strengthen the function of the centre by equipping it with more material and human resources so that it can operate at its maximum capacity. In addition, he stressed the importance of robust multi-holder partnership in addressing the vast and growing social and health problems of inmates, implying that the burden should not be left only on the university and prison administrations. Finally, he thanked various individuals and institutions who actively and generously participated to realise the establishment of the centre.

The Attorney General of Oromia Mr.Hussien Usman has spoken out that this centre would be the first in its kind in Oromia and it would solve the many challenges the region is facing in this regard very chronically.
He also stressed that the establishment of the centre would also motivate the other similar institution to establish similar centre in the rest part of Oromia. He also thanked all parties who involved establishing the centre and promised to provide the necessary supports to make the centre successfully discharge its missions.

The launching of the centre was made in the presence of higher official from Oromia and Harari regions, East Hararge zone, Haramaya University and Federal Ministry of Health.