n African Journal of Psychiatry - Mental Health Policy Implementation in Ghana and in Zambia : guest editorial

Volume 13, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1994-8220



Many African countries do not have evidence-based policies for mental health. In the most recent WHO Atlas survey, approximately 50% of countries on the continent did not have a mental health policy, and of those that did, many were outdated. However, even among those that do have policies, it is in the implementation of these policies that major challenges are encountered. Without implementation, policies remain meaningless documents that do little more than weigh down bookshelves in Ministry of Health offices. Effective implementation requires the achievement of certain clearly articulated targets and the appropriate allocation of resources, in accordance with the vision, values and principles of the policy. The implementation of evidence-based mental health policies in Africa is crucial for the strengthening of mental health systems, and the delivery of appropriate, cost-effective care to people in need.

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