MOGADISHU, 11 October 2020- On World Mental Health Day this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) in Somalia urged policy-makers, international and national agencies, and other civil society groups to scale up mental health services in Somalia. This request comes at a time when Somalis are faced with the consequences of the triple threat of COVID-19, flooding and desert locusts, in addition to other regular health and socioeconomic challenges.
According to estimates, one in every three Somalis is affected by a challenge related to their mental health. Unfortunately, however, there are only a few health facilities offering mental health services—for a country of 15 million, there are only 3 psychiatrists and 25 trained nurses dealing with mental health.
“Only when communities have access to good health in a holistic manner, physically and emotionally, can we have a peaceful, progressive and productive society,” said Dr Mamunur Malik, WHO Representative for Somalia.