Namibia urges African health systems to prioritize mental health

mental health problems
mental health

Namibian Health Minister Kalumbi Shangula on Monday urged African health systems to prioritize the promotion of mental health.

It is critical that the neglected crisis of mental health, as well as domestic and gender-based violence, are discussed, the minister told the opening of the second joint high-level continental seminar on the right to health and social protection in Africa in Windhoek, the Namibian capital.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of many health care systems in Africa and elsewhere. It laid bare the gaps in health promotion, prevention, and rehabilitation for mental health as well as control of substance abuse,” Shangula said. “These crises have the potential to greatly erode progress made on health, human right, and social protection.”

He called for more investments in the provision and promotion of mental health programs and services, saying Africa must forge ahead to end all forms of harmful practices that erode the commendable strides the continent has made so far.

“We must continue to promote and enact progressive laws, develop policies and action plans for reproductive health, economic empowerment, political emancipation of women, and ending all forms of violence against women and girls,” Shangula said. Enditem

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