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Gorkhapatra National daily
State depressed (disheartened) towards funding for treatment of mental illness
Reporter of Gorkhapatra
On Sep, 15th 2016 Kathmandu, Emerald meeting was held between the experts/delegates
and researchers from six different counties Nepal, India, Ethiopia, Uganda, Nigeria and
South Africa. In that meeting delegates expressed their sadness towards not paying
attention in mental health problem by the low and middle income countries of the world.
They showed attention towards physical health but the state policy makers have not
shown interest in the treatment of mental health problem.
In that program, an advocate Mr. Mahendra Shrestha from Ministry of Health (MoH) said
that though the mental health problem is increasing, special attention could not be given
towards its treatment. He also added that “government has not paid attention towards
mental health in comparison to other disease”. He said a person could earn four rupees
by investing one rupee in the treatment of mental health so in upcoming days MoH will
work by increasing the budget in this sector. Mr. Shrestha informed that, at present
Nepal government had allocated less than 10 crore budget in the sector of mental health
for the maintenance of hospital, equipments and services. Though various nongovernmental organizations have been doing research in the field of mental health, he
said that there has not been any big study carried out from the government level.
In that meeting, Professor Graham Thornicroft from Kings College London said that 90%
people who have mental health problem in low and middle income countries have not
received treatment. Mr. Graham who was also the professor of Global Mental Health and
Department of Population, stated that low and middle income countries has not
prioritized mental health problem that is why there was low number of people receiving
mental health treatment. Due to low investment in mental health, lack of awareness, no
change in the perspective of society towards mental health, looking in a stigmatized way
are the situations why people having mental health problem could not come to the
treatment place.
Mr. Ramesh Prasad Adhikari who is working in the field of mental health said that service
user will get relief if the treatment of mental health problem could be given from primary
health centre.
Professor Atalay Alem from Ethiopia, Rhaul Shidhaye from Public Health Foundation
India, Mak Jordans representative from TPO Nepal, Oye Gureje professor from Nigeria,
University of Ibadan, Professor Crick Lund from University of Cape Town, Dr. Fred Kigoz
mental health specialist from Uganda had participated in that meeting.