‘Depression is major public  health problem in Tanzania’

19Apr 2019
Polycarp Machira
The Guardian
 ‘Depression is major public  health problem in Tanzania’

DEPRESSION is becoming one of the major health problems in the country as many people seek psychotherapy and medications, the deputy minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Faustine Ndugulile told the House yesterday.

deputy minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Faustine Ndugulile.

He noted that depression can present with several symptoms such loss of energy, a feeling of guilt, feeling of hopelessness, change in sleeping pattern, change in appetite and even suicidal thoughts.

However, he said the government was aware of the growing health threat, and has empowered various health facilities to offer counseling services to people affected with the problem.

On other hand, he appealed to members of the community to bring to counseling centres their colleagues who show symptoms of depression to avoid effects of the disease.

"There are enough drugs for people with such disorders or those who have reached advanced stage of the diseases," said the deputy minister.

Ndugulile was responding to a supplementary question by the Rombo MP,Joseph Selasini(CHADEMA)who had wanted to know if the government was ready to set up counseling centres countrywide to control brain disorders among the Tanzanians.

Earlier in his main question the Njombe Urban MP, Edward Mwalongo (CCM), sought government's plans on treating and sheltering people with brain disorders roving in streets.

Dr Ndugulile remarked that the ministry has plans to improve health service provision in the country, including brain disorders.

The deputy minister called on relatives and the public in general to bring to bring those affected to health centres for getting treatment.

"The duty of protecting public health starts from the family level, but communities have been marginalizing the people with brain diseases and let them walk around the streets," he said.

He went on reminding the local governments, district administrations as well as religious leaders over their responsibility to keep those affected at proper places.

Dr Ndugulile noted that treatment for the people with brain diseases was free, insisting that such diseases can be treated.