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Experts Meeting In Uganda Urge African Governments To Spend More, Train Caregivers On Mental Health Care

“African psychiatrists and mental health experts are determined to change what they all agree is the alarming condition of mental health care across the continent,” where “[c]aregivers are few and health facilities even fewer,” the Associated Press reports. “Experts are meeting in the Ugandan capital this week to press their governments to spend more on mental health care as well as train caregivers to treat patients with knowledge and compassion,” the news agency writes, adding, “Across Africa, researchers say, the mentally ill are getting poor or no care, and often are treated with the kind of stigma usually reserved for prisoners. The attitude toward mental illness is sometimes reinforced by ignorance about what causes it and how it should be treated, they say.” The AP notes, “The Peter C. Alderman Foundation, which underwrote the conference in Kampala, says it seeks to build ‘mental health capacity in post-conflict countries,’ especially by training caregivers and running clinics that treat thousands of patients each year.” The news agency writes, “The conference drew more than 500 participants, including scores of African students who hope to swell the ranks of a specialty that seldom attracts the attention of sub-Saharan Africa’s impoverished governments” (7/18).