n African Journal of Psychiatry - The future of Old Age Psychiatry in Africa : guest editorial

Volume 14, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 1994-8220



It is a popular belief that mental disorders in the elderly in Africa are less prevalent, less expensive to treat and not an important health care issue. Health problems facing African authorities are diverse. In South Africa where 32% of the population is in the 0-14 year age group, a high percentage of health resources have been shifted to maternal and child care. Primary health care priorities address needs such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV),tuberculosis and other infectious diseases. Thus, resources for mental health care are limited. Human resources for mental health care in Nigeria are dismal, with virtually all mental health personnel concentrated in urban areas where far less Nigerians reside. There are no specially separated mental health services for older adults in rural or urban Nigerian communities.

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