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HAI Publication Alert: Outpatient Mental Health in Mozambique

Mar 8, 2016

Global Mental Health - Mozambique

HAI is proud to announce yet another peer-reviewed publication addressing mental health in Mozambique!

Mental health services have been chronically neglected in Mozambique. There are only 15 psychiatrists in public-sector service in the entire country, and in 2011 only 0.16% of the Ministry of Health’s budget was allocated to mental health.

In order to assess the current situation, HAI’s very own Brad Wagenaar and Kenny Sherr recently conducted a study looking at current patterns of health-seeking and treatment for mental illness in Sofala province, Mozambique. The study analyzed over 2,000 outpatient psychiatric registries from Beira Central Hospital over a 20-month period in 2012-2014.

The study found that treatment for severe mental illness such as schizophrenia and epilepsy dominated psychiatric services. Mood disorders–despite their suspected high prevalence–often go undiagnosed and unaddressed. Bipolar, in particular, was almost completely ignored. This is important as Mozambique was recently estimated to have the highest suicide rate in Africa, and untreated bipolar disorder can lead to a dramatically increased risk for suicide. The low rate of mood disorder identification speaks to the need for better integration of mental health care and screening into primary care and innovative approaches to identification and treatment of these conditions. This is something HAI is working hard to achieve as we attempt to scale-up our projects around global mental health.

The article, titled “Outpatient Mental Health Services in Mozambique: Use and Treatments” was published in Psychiatric Services in February, and is available on our website.

 

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Our mission is to promote policies and support programs that strengthen government primary health care and foster social, economic, and health equity for all. Our vision is a just world that promotes health and well-being, including universal access to quality health care.

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Health Alliance International began in 1987 as a US-based international solidarity organization committed to supporting the public sector provision of health care for all.  Over 35 years, HAI conducted programs in 17 countries, with flagship programs in Mozambique, Côte d'Ivoire, and Timor-Leste.

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In line with HAI’s commitment to support and strengthen local public health leadership, as of October 2021, HAI fully transitioned global operations and active programs to locally-based, locally-led NGOs. Learn more about this shift toward local autonomy and equity in global health.

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