WHO focuses on mental health in Africa

Nearly 17% of patients visiting health institutions in Africa have some form of mental disorder, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.

“Though there is limited evidence on mental health problems in Africa, studies from a few countries indicate that one in six patients has at least one mental, neurological or behavioural disorder,” WHO director for Africa Dr Luis Sambo said.

He said there was a need for African countries to initiate programmes that deal with mental health, Zimbabwe’s Herald Online reported today.

He implored African governments to improve mental health facilities.

“Communities need to be supported to increase their awareness and knowledge of mental health to reduce stigma associated with these disorders,” he said.

Progress in treatment of mental disorders has been hindered by shortages of professionals and cultural practices.

Sambo said for every 10 million people living in the WHO Africa region, there are only six psychiatrists and 67 psychiatric nurses.

Health Advisor in Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s office, Timothy Stamps, said there was need for Zimbabwe to appreciate the relationship between mental health and chronic physical illness.

“We should extend and elaborate the notion of integration of care by focusing on the connection and relationship between mental health disorders and chronic physical illness.

“The bottom line is mental illnesses occur with chronic physical conditions in many patients. They also worsen prognosis for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, HIV and Aids, cancer and other chronic illnesses,” he said.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Would you choose to continue working from home after the coronavirus lockdown if given the option?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, it's much better for me
40% - 7928 votes
No ways! I can't wait to get back to the office
12% - 2301 votes
A mixture of both would suit me best
48% - 9608 votes
Vote
USD/ZAR
14.26
(+0.3)
GBP/ZAR
19.64
(+0.6)
EUR/ZAR
17.08
(+0.7)
AUD/ZAR
11.05
(+0.6)
JPY/ZAR
0.13
(+0.6)
Gold
1,767.29
(+0.2)
Silver
25.96
(+0.4)
Platinum
1,197.00
(+0.0)
Brent Crude
66.94
(+0.5)
Palladium
2,737.89
(-0.3)
All Share
68,335
(+0.8)
Top 40
62,536
(+0.7)
Financial 15
12,356
(+0.1)
Industrial 25
88,976
(+0.4)
Resource 10
69,850
(+1.5)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo