World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, on Friday, October 9, 2015 said that one out of every six people in African suffers mental health problems.
This was contained in a press statement issued by the Communications Officer of WHO, Mrs Charity Ahrey, to mark the World Mental Health Day in Abuja tagged: “Dignity in mental health.’’
According to Moeti, person suffering mental health issues ought to be given maximum care and respect without discrimination.
The statement read: “I appeal to governments and partners to improve mental health by tackling discrimination through individual and community initiatives, as well as strengthen national programmes, policies and legislative measures.
“Intensified support from partners, civil society and donors, as well as strengthening the capacity of healthcare providers will contribute immensely towards addressing this growing problem in the communities and in the region.
“Mental health patients deserve respect and compassion while they cope with the disease.
“In the African region, it is estimated that one out of every six people suffers from some form of mental disorder, unfortunately, in the course of treatment, some patients are subjected to undignified treatment.
“Some countries have started the revision of their mental health legislation in order to protect the rights and dignity of persons affected by the condition.
“Despite these measures, the promotion of good mental health and understanding of its challenges, together with early detection, treatment and dignity for the patients are still a concern in many countries of the region.”
Moeti further implored that an urgent attention to be given to the issue of lack of trained and motivated personnel in the area of mental health and psychiatry.
However, the regional director of WHO reinstated the organization’s support towards governments and stakeholders by providing the needed technical support and restore dignity in mental health.