The Mental Health Gap In Tanzania

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Mental health patients are stigmatized, even in the most developed nations. Even in these developed nations there is often a lack in proper access and education for underprivileged populations. One way the burden of mental health issues can be measured in Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALY); one DALY is thought of as one year lost of “healthy” life. (WHO, 2016) The sum of these DALYs are described by the World Health Organization as being “The gap in the current health status and an ideal health situation where the entire population lives to an advanced age, free of disease and disability.” (WHO, 2016) In Africa, investments in mental health care have been low, and for the most at-risk populations there is little or no access to mental health programs available. Of the most at-risk populations, women are the most affected by the mental health gap and in developing nations, such as Tanzania; the gap is felt even more. As one of the poorest nations in the world, there are very few resources allocated toward mental health, and even fewer for women. Tanzania has little data available on the lifetime effect of mental health and female populations. There is a need to better understand the mental health gap in Tanzania and the…show more content…
Early exposure to violence and/or trauma may increase feelings of depression and affect ability to cope with life-stressors, henceforth be related to suicidal outcomes. (Devries, 2011) In a community-based study that examines the major stressors identified by the Iraqw and Datoga women, a community located in rural northern Tanzania; a myriad of stressors is evaluated. The major causes of distress described range from food insecurity to pressures of modernity. The women of the Datoga and Iraqw communities often describe modes of distress through somatic symptoms such as sleep loss, headache and loss of appetite. (Pike,

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