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WHO Wants Mental Health Services Scaled Up In Somalia2 minutes read



As the world marks the World Mental Health Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) has urged Somalia’s policy-makers, international and national agencies, and other civil society groups to scale up mental health services in East African country.

Somalis are faced with the consequences of the triple threat of COVID-19, flooding and desert locusts, in addition to other regular health and socioeconomic challenges.

According to estimates, one in every three Somalis is affected by a challenge related to their mental health.

Unfortunately, however, there are only 3 psychiatrists and 25 trained nurses dealing with mental health in the country of 15 million.

“Only when communities have access to good health in a holistic manner, physically and emotionally, can we have a peaceful, progressive and productive society,” said Dr Mamunur Malik, WHO Representative for Somalia.

“We all need to join hands to ensure every Somali has access to mental health services, particularly psychosocial support at primary health care level.”

Dr Malik emphasized the inevitable health, economic and social costs that come with dismissing mental health problems. He explained that the burden of coping with diseases such as COVID-19 would only exacerbate the situation and result in more Somalis having to deal with unaddressed anxiety, stress and fear.

Since the first World Mental Health Day, launched 30 years ago, significant efforts have been made around the world to encourage people to talk openly about mental health conditions. In Somalia, there is a need to stop the stigma and discrimination against people suffering from mental health challenges. There is also a need to put an end to violence, and abuses orchestrated against those who are facing mental health problems.

The global theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day is ‘Move for Mental Health: let’s invest.’ In Somalia, in efforts to highlight the importance of ensuring mental health services are accessible by all, and to ensure that this becomes the norm for future generations, the country is commemorating the day with the theme ‘Investing in mental health is investing in Somalia’s future.’

The Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Mr Adam Abdelmoula, released a recorded video message on World Mental Health Day, which is being broadcast across the WHO Somalia country office’s social media channels. In his message, he called for increasing development assistance from all humanitarian and development partners of Somalia to improve mental health services.

As mental health is fundamental to good health and the well-being of the population, WHO is urging all its partners and donors, including all UN agencies, to urgently scale up their support for mental health in the country and to break the cycle of neglect, lack of awareness, stigma and discrimination, which are often the drivers of poor mental health in any country.


Africa’s COVID-19 Cases Top 1.7 Million



The number of confirmed cases in the African continent has reached 1,707,741, the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said on Sunday.

The Africa CDC said in a statement that the death toll related to the pandemic stood at 41,145 as of Sunday afternoon.

A total of 1,399,238 people infected with COVID-19 have recovered across the continent, the Africa CDC said.

The most affected African countries in terms of the number of positive cases include South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Ethiopia and Nigeria.

The Southern Africa region is the most COVID-19 affected region both in terms of the number of confirmed positive cases as well as the number of deaths.

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East Africa News

COVID-19: Rwanda makes EU “safe list”

The move follows a review under the recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU.

Bernard Akede



the European Union

According to a statement from the European Union Council on October 22, Rwanda has been listed by the European Union, among the countries on which Covid-19 travel restrictions into the EU territory should be gradually lifted.

The move follows a review under the recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU.

Some of the criteria which the European Union considers for lifting travel restrictions on third countries (countries that are not members of the EU as well as countries whose citizens do not enjoy the European Union right to free movement) include their epidemiological situation and containment measures, including physical distancing, as well as economic and social considerations.

Some of the other countries from which the restrictions have been lifted are Singapore, South Korea, Australia, Japan, Uruguay, Thailand, and New Zealand.

This now means that Rwanda is the only country in African to feature on the list.

The EU Council’s statement, however, indicates that this list will continue to be reviewed regularly and, as the case may be, updated.

In addition, the statement also says that European Union Council recommendation is not a legally binding instrument.

To this end, the authorities of the member states are responsible for  implementing the content of the recommendation, where they may, in full transparency, lift only progressively travel restrictions towards the listed countries.

In the past few weeks, Rwanda has been reporting progress in the fight against Covid-19. As of today, Rwanda has recorded a total of 5,062 cases of which 4,806 have recovered and 34 have died.

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Nigeria Announces New 48 COVID-19 Cases



The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has announced 48 new cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

The NCDC, in its verified wedsite on Saturday, noted that COVID-19 related mortalities stands at 1,129 as no new death was recorded in the last 24 hours.

The public health agency said that 95 treated persons were also discharged from various isolation centres across the country.

The NCDC disclosed that the new infections were recorded in 5 states and the Federal Capital Territory with Lagos having 18, FCT 13, Kaduna 6, Rivers and Ogun 5 each and Ondo 1.

It added that 61,930 cases were confirmed with 57,285 cases discharged and 1,129 deaths recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory as on Saturday.

Meanwhile, NCDC warned Nigerians against complacency in containing the spread of the disease as the pandemic has yet to be defeated even with the low recorded cases recently.

“People are no longer seen wearing mask. People now attend gathering with a few too many guests. People are getting tired of wearing masks and are not keeping physical distance or washing hands.

“We can’t get to zero risk of COVID-19, but we can minimize our risk and ensure we’re not jeopardizing our health or the health of others,” it advised.

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