Depression: The silent killer at Makerere University

Depression: The silent killer at Makerere University
Image of serwada
Serwada, a student who was diagnosed with depression. He is a third year student of medicine and surgery at Makerere University. He is sited at Nsibirwa hall where he resides at the east of Makerere University

Most parents in Uganda dream for their children to study from the prestigious Makerere University.

The hustle for achieving this dream, however life is even much hard after getting admitted into the University.

Many students at the Ivory Tower are living with stress, panic, misery and feelings of hopelessness.

Joel Serwada, 25, is a third year student of Medicine and Surgery at Makerere University who was diagnosed with depression in February this year.

After two years of struggle with the strange condition , Serwada’s Uncle decided to take him to a psychiatrist at Butabika hospital.


According to the hospital report, Serwada had stress mania and panic disorders which are the first symbols of depression.

For the last two years of study, Serwada has attempted suicide thrice but only saved by friends. As a common practice by students, he started experiencing a change in life when he spent a full year tuition to take his girlfriend to Ssese Islands in Kalangala district for a holiday.

After spending one week with a fully funded lavish life at the calm island, Serwada was dumped by his girlfriend which stressed him and forced him to abandon his studies.

Listen to Serwada’s story in the audio (red T-shirt) and other audio on the left.

In a survey conducted at 10 colleges that make up Makerere University, ten survey assistants asked students whether they had experienced various signs and symptoms of depression. According to the research results from the 300 students interviewed, 67% total number of students at Makerere University live with depression.

Professional point of view about depression.

Professor Peter K. Baguma a psychologist at Makerere University has told us the impact of depression to students. These range from family to academic issues.

Watch a video of professor Baguma below explaining various causes and dangers of depression.

Nonetheless, early this year, the university established a counselling center to cater for students who need counselling services.

However, very few students know where the center is located or even that it exist within the campus.

The University counselling center is located in the west of Makerere University where many hostels around Makerere Kikoni and other halls of residences for students are located. This would make it easy for students in need of counselling services to access the center, which, however has not worked out since the center was established.

Below is a map showing the location of Makerere University Counselling center

Kallete Margret a senior counselor at the Makerere University counselling center highlights on the value of counselling to students. She says, “students suffer a lot of challenges which need to be addressed to counselors for guidance and counselling” Listen to Kalette’s Audio.

Depression is among the most deadly mental health concern that has affected many students and has led to numerous student deaths at at Makerere University university.

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