Mental health services in Uganda

  • Kigozi F
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Islamic Republic of Iran has 72 million populations that about half of them are under 18 years old. According to some sporadic researches about 25-50 per cent of youth in Iran need mental health services. The youth who are living in rural or small town areas are covered by Primary Health Care (PHC).From 1990 the mental health integrated as a 9th component of PHC system .A trained person from that area named 'Behvarz' covered patients who suffer from mental retardation, epilepsy, major psychiatry problem (psychosis) and minor psychiatry problems (neurosis).A General Practitioner (GP) supervise several PHC centers. In big cities, the available services are private sectors and federal sectors. Private clinics and counseling centers with (sub) specialist are available to all patients and have direct visiting and counseling but the insurance agencies pays a low percentage of expenses. The federal sectors include many organizations. Child Guidance Clinic (CGC) and child and adolescent psychiatry ward related to universities has strong academic teams and do treatment, education and research. Welfare organization covers handicapped children (mental, physical) and has day care centers, and nursing centers and pay the major part of their expenses. Also children with PDD (Autistic spectrum) are educated in special centers and some of them are home schooling. Hot lines for child abuse and suicide, and centers for prevention and treatment of substance abuse is another job of welfare organization. In Schools there is a School Mental Health program that has active roles in a few schools, but all students before starting school, must become screen for intelligence quotient (IQ) and some mental problems. All schools in big cities has a counselor Different organizations such as police, judge, jails, charities,...has centers for education and counseling of mental health problems. The expansion of country and geographic features and climate differences is a major barrier for availability of mental health services. The expert trained teams are not enough and most of subspecialist work in big cities especially Tehran, capital city of Iran. In regard to rapid urbanization mental health centers should be organized in cities and supervised by universities. Attention to cultural aspects such as Myths, labeling and people perception about mental disorder is necessary.

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  • Fred Kigozi

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