An assessment of mental health policy in Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia

 

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dc.contributor.author Faydi, Edwige en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Funk, Michelle en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Kleintjes, Sharon en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Ofori-Atta, Angela en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Ssbunnya, Joshua en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Mwanza, Jason en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Kim, Caroline en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Flisher, Alan en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2015-11-11T12:03:30Z
dc.date.available 2015-11-11T12:03:30Z
dc.date.issued 2011 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Faydi, E., Funk, M., Kleintjes, S., Ofori-Atta, A., Ssbunnya, J., Mwanza, J., ... & Flisher, A. (2011). An assessment of mental health policy in Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia. Health Res Policy Syst, 9(1), 17. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/14902
dc.identifier.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1478-4505-9-17
dc.description.abstract BACKGROUND: Approximately half of the countries in the African Region had a mental health policy by 2005, but little is known about quality of mental health policies in Africa and globally. This paper reports the results of an assessment of the mental health policies of Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia. METHODS: The WHO Mental Health Policy Checklist was used to evaluate the most current mental health policy in each country. Assessments were completed and reviewed by a specially constituted national committee as well as an independent WHO team. Results of each country evaluation were discussed until consensus was reached. RESULTS: All four policies received a high level mandate. Each policy addressed community-based services, the integration of mental health into general health care, promotion of mental health and rehabilitation. Prevention was addressed in the South African and Ugandan policies only. Use of evidence for policy development varied considerably. Consultations were mainly held with the mental health sector. Only the Zambian policy presented a clear vision, while three of four countries spelt out values and principles, the need to establish a coordinating body for mental health, and to protect the human rights of people with mental health problems. None included all the basic elements of a policy, nor specified sources and levels of funding for implementation. Deinstitutionalisation and the provision of essential psychotropic medicines were insufficiently addressed. Advocacy, empowerment of users and families and intersectoral collaboration were inadequately addressed. Only Uganda sufficiently outlined a mental health information system, research and evaluation, while only Ghana comprehensively addressed human resources and training requirements. No country had an accompanying strategic mental health plan to allow the development and implementation of concrete strategies and activities. CONCLUSIONS: Six gaps which could impact on the policies' effect on countries' mental health systems were: lack of internal consistency of structure and content of policies, superficiality of key international concepts, lack of evidence on which to base policy directions, inadequate political support, poor integration of mental health policies within the overall national policy and legislative framework, and lack of financial specificity. Three strategies to address these concerns emerged, namely strengthening capacity of key stakeholders in public (mental) health and policy development, creation of a culture of inclusive and dynamic policy development, and coordinated action to optimize use of available resources. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.publisher BioMed Central Ltd en_ZA
dc.rights This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License en_ZA
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0 en_ZA
dc.source Health Research Policy and Systems en_ZA
dc.source.uri http://www.health-policy-systems.com/ en_ZA
dc.subject.other Mental health policies en_ZA
dc.subject.other Ghana en_ZA
dc.subject.other South Africa en_ZA
dc.subject.other Uganda en_ZA
dc.subject.other Zambia en_ZA
dc.subject.other Africa en_ZA
dc.subject.other WHO Mental Health Policy Checklist en_ZA
dc.title An assessment of mental health policy in Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia en_ZA
dc.type Journal Article en_ZA
dc.rights.holder 2011 Faydi et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. en_ZA
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Article en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Health Sciences en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image


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This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License