The Ministry of Health and Population’s general secretariat for psychological health announced last week the results of the national psychological health survey of Egypt 2017. The report was funded by the World Health Organisation, and was conducted in collaboration with the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics.
The study is part of the national strategy for developing the field of psychological research, and building an accurate and comprehensive database on psychological disturbances in the community.
Head of general secretariat for psychological health, Manan Abdel-Maqsoud, said that the survey was the first to cover all of Egypt’s governorates, and defined the gap between the spread of psychological disturbances and the reciprocal health services offered to the public in the various governorates. Accordingly, it was decided to increase the psychological health services in the governorates that need them most; also to include such services in the Health Ministry’s primary care units and public hospitals. Critical cases, Dr Abdel-Maqsoud said, would be moved to psychological health hospitals or centres in the bigger cities. She highlighted that there are currently 18 such facilities nationwide.
Dr Abdel-Maqsoud pointed out that the nationwide survey sample included 22,000 families, 45 per cent of them in urban areas, and 55 per cent in rural districts. It was prepared in January 2010 and is updated every three years. Some 250 researchers trained by 20 expert psychiatrists have participated in it.
The survey indicated that 7 per cent of the sample studied suffered psychological disturbances, the most common among which were depression and substance abuse. It also revealed that the spread of psychological disturbances was higher in rural than in urban areas, indicating that psychological health services were more essential in the countryside.
Family history, according to the survey, was a key factor in the spread of psychological disturbances from one generation to the next. Whereas social activity, exercise, and hobbies helped greatly in stemming psychological disturbances, medication was necessary once matters got out of hand. The study also showed that disturbances were in no way connected to what profession a patient works at.
22 April 2018