WHO promises to support Somalia increase quality mental health services

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This photo taken on May 21, 2023 shows the logo of the World Health Organization (WHO) with the WHO headquarters in the background in Geneva, Switzerland. (Xinhua/Lian Yi)
World Health Organization (WHO)

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday vowed to scale up efforts to help Somalia offer quality mental health care and services across the country.

In a statement marking World Mental Health Day, which fell on Tuesday, the WHO noted it would step up the training of health professionals to help integrate mental health into primary health care in the country.

Urgent action is taken so that everyone can exercise their human rights and access the quality mental health care they need, said the WHO, stressing that support to health institutions in Somalia will ensure that mental health is valued, promoted, and protected.

“This includes efforts to strengthen an integrated, multisectoral response through evidence-based and achievable plans that promote the identification, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of mental and neurological disorders, with respect for human rights and social protection,” it said.

The WHO said Somalia has particularly been affected by mental health challenges owing to decades of protracted conflict, which has severely disrupted social cohesion, broken down social norms, and led to nearly one in every three Somalis suffering from some form of mental health condition.

In June and July, the WHO supported the Somali Ministry of Health in training 50 health professionals in the regional hospitals of Hudur, South West State, and Dhusamareb, Galmudug State.

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