Namibia is lagging far behind in the promotion of mental health and the provision of services compared to other health care delivery, an official said Thursday.

Deputy Minister of Health Julieta Kavetuna in a statement said that the country needed to do more in order to realise a comprehensive health service delivery.

“It is clear that the current capacity is not responsive to the needs, with many patients travelling several hundreds of kilometres to reach a service point,” she said.

She added that in light of this, the ministry developed a roadmap that proposes the establishment of four mental hospitals across the country by 2023 while every district hospital should have a psychiatric wing to cater for mentally ill patients.

She said the road map also takes into account the anticipated staff and expertise needed to support these facilities and therefore in-service and formal training of mental health professionals needs to be carried out countrywide.

According to the World Health Organization, mental illness has now taken the number one position for “cause of disability” in the world, and Namibia is faced with devastating statistics on gender-based violence, suicides, family violence and substance abuse, to name a few social factors contributing to the rise in mental illnesses. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh