A disturbing video has surfaced showing the deplorable conditions faced by more than 200 patients including children at a mental health facility in Havana. The exclusive video, obtained by the Martís, shows some patients restrained and others kept in animal pens at the Psychoeducational Center Number 5. The facility is also known as “The Golden Age,” named after Jose Martí’s famous collection of essays for children.
The conditions may prove to be life threatening. According one source interviewed by the Martis, most of the patients are visibly malnourished and that in 2014 approximately 20 died from various causes – up substantially from previous years.
The facility is administered by the government’s Ministry of Public Health, but it is severely understaffed. Instead, the center depends largely on the volunteer efforts by nuns from the Order of the Daughters of Charity. The nuns tell the Martís that they have repeatedly requested more oversight, food and medical supplies from the government.