Namibia treats 8 000 for mental illnesses in 2015

2016-04-13 13:59


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Windhoek - Over 8 000 people were treated for various mental illnesses across Namibia in 2015, reports have said.

According to New Era, mental disorders in the southern African country had a bad stigma attached to them, with many families believing that mental illness was caused by witchcraft and evil spirits.

"Our patients do not even get flowers like other patients. Some families request the centre to keep the patients forever," spokesperson for the country's ministry of health and social services, Ester Paulus, was quoted as saying.

The ministry reported that approximately 8 527 people were treated for mental illness last year, 730 less than in 2014.

A report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicated that Namibia currently had no mental health policy in place, with the country operating under guidelines from the South African Mental Health Act no. 18 of 1973.

The Act has since been updated in South Africa. 

Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services Juliet Kavetuna recently said that the country had a shortage of mental health workers.

According to a previous New Era report, a shortage of psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, psychologists and social workers within the country remained one of the main barriers to providing sufficient treatment for patients.

Read more on:    who  |  namibia  |  southern africa  |  health

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