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Global Brain Health Experts Convene in Nairobi to Address Mental Health Challenges in Low & Middle-Income Countries

Nairobi, Kenya - 17th November 2023 - The Acting Director General for Health, Dr. Patrick Amoth, has emphasized the critical nature of addressing mental health in low- and middle-income nations. 

In a speech read by Deputy DG for Public Health and Professional Standards, Dr. Sultan Matendechero, during the Brain & Mind Institute's Brain Health Conference in Nairobi today the DG highlighted that nearly three-quarters of the global disease burden stems from mental and neurological disorders. 

The Acting DG called for integrated mental health approaches across various sectors and emphasized the urgent need for increased investment in mental health. He reiterated the Ministry of Health's dedication to establishing a society valuing mental health, despite multiple hurdles such as stigma, limited awareness, inadequate investments, and socio-cultural beliefs hindering proper mental health care access and outcomes. 

Under the theme "Healing Brain-Bridging the gap in low & middle-income countries," this significant event aimed to explore strategies to improve mental health outcomes in regions facing substantial challenges. 

Highlighting strides towards a solution, the Ministry, in collaboration with partners, conducted the Mental Health Investment Case in 2021, revealing the substantial economic impact of mental health conditions. 

Strategies in place align with Universal Health Coverage, focusing on leadership enhancement, preventive programs, service restructuring, and system strengthening. 

The Acting DG thanked the Aga Khan University Hospital for hosting the conference. The Ministry reaffirmed its commitment to collaborative efforts in advancing brain health care. 

This conference marks a pivotal moment in addressing mental health challenges, signifying a commitment among global experts to transformative action and collaboration. It serves as a beacon for bridging gaps in mental health care for low- and middle-income nations.