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Mozambican Health Minister Nazira Abdula declared on Saturday that the project “One District, One Hospital” will be gradually implemented, and with financial resources made available either by the government, or by its cooperation partners.
Speaking in the northern city of Nampula, she said “it is not true that there are no resources for this project, since the government regards health as a priority among the social sectors”.
Over the years district hospitals had been gradually built, but this initiative would speed matters up, Abdula said. Some partners, such as the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) had already expressed an interest in participating “and they have asked for our priorities”.
“We also have the component of the National Sustainable Development Fund, and so there are various windows of opportunity that we shall take advantage of”, she added.
Abdula had been on a three day working visit to Nampula, where she had delivered equipment for diagnosis and treatment to the Mozambique Island hospital. On Saturday, she visited the Nampula Psychiatric Hospital, which is resuming its full functions after several years in which the government had granted it to the Lurio University, when this publicly-owned university was being set up.
With the hospital now back in the hands of the Health Ministry, Abdula stressed that “the component of mental health is often almost forgotten, so I would like to show that Nampula has these services back with all their facets, such as 20 beds for the hospitalisation of patients, which will serve the northern region of the country”.
She added that the psychiatric hospital will care for children with mental problems, and will also treat elderly people suffering from depression.
“The number of mental patients is increasing due to high levels of consumption of alcoholic drinks and other drugs”, said Abdula, “and so we have defined mental health as part of primary health care. We must have staff dealing with mental health in the health centres. Here in Nampula, when there is a need for hospitalisation, and since the health centres don’t have this possibility, the patient will b referred to this health unit or to the Central Hospital”.
In March, also in Nampula, Abdula had launched the second phase of preparations to include mental health in primary health care.
At the time, she had warned that the country has insufficient resources to deal with mental health issues, and so about 75 per cent of patients do not receive adequate care.Source: AIM
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