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Haiti - Health : Sophia Martelly in favor of a mental health public policy
11/10/2011 11:04:51

Haiti - Health : Sophia Martelly in favor of a mental health public policy
The First Lady of the Republic, Sophia Martelly, officially opened the Mental Health Week, yesterday, Monday, October 10, 2011, to the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP), on the occasion of the World Mental Health Day.

In presence of the Minister of Public Health, Alex Larsen, of Representative of PAHO / WHO, Peter Graaff January, representatives of medical and health staff associations, Ms. Sophia Martelly reiterated her commitment in favor of the improvement of living conditions of the the mentally ill. On this occasion the WHO has delivered to the MSPP, the report (IESM-WHO) of assessment of the mental health system in Haiti, a document conceptualized and developed by the Mental Health Evidence and Research Team (MER), of department of Mental Health providing a baseline for a better planning of mental health interventions from clear data and real needs.

The mental health sector suffers from serious difficulties whose the inexistence of an information system in mental health, of an awareness campaign formalized, of a budget to meet the current requirements in this area (only 1% of the health budget is allocated to mental health). Medical facilities in mental health are mostly private. Only two psychiatric hospitals are public. Less than 20% of hospitals have psychiatrists. Only 3% of the hours of studies in medicine in Haiti concern the mental health.

Faced with such situations, the First Lady estimates important an effective public action for a mental health system more dynamic, able to reduce the rate of patients.

On the occasion of this day, she went to two public centers, on the street Oswald Durant and to Beudet (Croix-des-Bouquets), inquire about the situation and collect recommendations. She presented plaques to honor individuals who have made great work for the mentally ill whose Max Desrosiers, the first resident of Mars and Kline Psychiatric Center, the Dr. Chavannes Douyon, his first psychologist and Nadia Delsoin, first social worker.

On the morning of the event, through an audio message http://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-3988-haiti-health-less-than-20-psychiatrists-for-more-than-10-million-people.html the First Lady has communicated its concerns regarding the health environment. Her message reflects a set of problems faced by the sector, including the lack of a coherent public policy in term of mental health in Haiti, of a strategic plan, of specific legislation, of a guide and protocol in terms of mental health.

The mental health, as health in general is a priority of the First Lady, which is committed alongside the Head of State.

HL/ HaitiLibre

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