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Poor Countries Neglect Mentally Ill: UN
Source: worldbank.org
Source Date: Friday, October 08, 2010
Focus: Knowledge Management in Government
Created: Oct 10, 2010

“Hundreds of millions of people in poor countries suffer from untreated mental health disorders that could be helped with inexpensive care, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday…. ‘We face a misperception that mental health care is a luxury item on the health agenda. But it costs $2 per person per year – it is one of the best buys,’ said WHO Director-General Margaret Chan….” [Reuters/Factiva]

Xinhua adds that “… ‘Mental, neurological and substance use disorders account for 14 percent of the global burden of disease. Three quarters of this burden occurs in low- and middle-income countries,’ Chan said during the official launching of the Mental Health GAP Intervention Guide. Chan cited figures from WHO research that 150 million people worldwide suffer from depression, 40 million people suffer from epilepsy, and a startling number of one million people committed suicide every year….” [Xinhua]

AFP writes that “…a cornerstone of the drive is a new guide for ordinary doctors and nurses in developing and emerging countries to ease diagnosis and proper treatment of mental and neurological disorders, as well as drug and alcohol abuse….Drawn up by 200 specialists from around the world, the guide places the emphasis on primary care, leading general doctors methodically through each stage from identifying symptoms of disorders such as depression and epilepsy to treatment or care.

But the experts discovered that 99 percent of the knowledge came from rich nations, and faced substantial work in adapting it to developing countries….” [Agence France Presse/Factiva]
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