In his message ahead of the World Health Day commemorated every April 7, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti the WHO regional director for Africa
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has appealed to its member states to include mental health in their national health development agenda by allocating adequate human and financial resources to respond to the growing burden of depression, a mental disorder.
In his message ahead of the World Health Day commemorated every April 7, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti the WHO regional director for Africa said much as depression is a cause of concern, in most cases, it goes unrecognized and the condition is not treated properly.
Statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO) show that 350million people worldwide are affected by depression.
It is also estimated that three to four people out of 10 in the community suffer a depressive illness.
"Resources to prevent, identify and treat mental health problems such as depression are very scarce. The African region alone has a critical shortage of qualified professionals for mental health, with just one psychiatrist per one million people and a similar number of psychologists," Moeti stated.
Speaking at a press briefing at the Ministry of Health on Thursday, Joyce Moriku the state minister for primary health care said unlike the usual national celebrations, this year's focus is on creating awareness on depression which perpetuates the cycle of poverty by interfering with one's capacity and function either at a job or other activities leading to decreased social economic activity.
What is depression?
Depression is a common mental disorder that presents with persistent low mood (sadness) or loss of interest in pleasurable activities.
This year's theme for the world health day is, 'Depression: Let us talk'.