Overview: Mental Health, Violence and Injuries


Mental Health, Violence and Injuries remain a major challenge to public health in the region. In addition to the numerous armed conflicts that plague the African region, there is also a high burden from interpersonal violence, especially amongst young men. Gender based violence and child abuse remain a serious challenge.

Mental health services specifically catering for people with severe psychiatric illness remain very limited in the Region. Severe and untreated mental disorders are a major risk factor for permanent disability and premature death. According to the Mental health atlas 2011, 80% of people who suffer from severe mental, neurological and substance use disorders in the Region do not receive any form of standard treatment. This may be due to lack of information, lack of access to health care, stigmatization and discrimination but is most often due to a lack of qualified mental health-care workers able to provide appropriate services.

The key challenges being addressed are:

  • Lack of data on the magnitude, causes, and consequences of all types of disabilities (physical, sensory and mental).
  • Lack of policies on this group of health problems. There are often no strategies for prevention, and few or no resources for prevention or management programs.
  • Poor prevention efforts result in high direct and indirect costs: high health care costs (about 50% of surgical beds in some countries are for road traffic injuries), lost productivity, premature deaths.
  • Lack of motivation to address the problems associated with violence, injuries and disabilities and to track their impact.

For more information please contact:

NkomoDr. Da Gama Nkomo
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Tel.: +47241 39593