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World misses most 2020 mental health targets: WHO – The Maravi Post



Released on Friday, the latest edition of the Mental Health Atlas ‘paints a disappointing picture, which shows that increased attention given to mental health in recent years has yet to result in a scale-up of quality mental services that are aligned with needs.

‘Extremely concerning’

“It is extremely concerning that…good intentions are not being met with investment,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO said.

“We must heed and act on this wake-up call and dramatically accelerate the scale-up of investment in mental health because there is no health without mental health.”

 “Investments in mental health data and in strengthening services are needed so countries can build back better post COVID-19,” Dr. Tarun Dua, WHO Unit Head, Department of Mental Health and Substance Use, said at the release of the report in Geneva.

The cost of low investment in community-based health services is too high, she added, stating that mental, neurological and substance abuse services were the most disrupted health services during the pandemic.

“COVID-19 has provided us with a new opportunity to reflect on services, their equitable distribution and prevention programmes, so it’s an opportunity to build back better…Lost productivity costs a trillion dollars a year, so we should be investing, as for every dollar invested the return is five dollars”, added Dr. Fahmy Hanna, from WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Use.

2020 targets missed

According to the report, which includes data from 171 countries, none of the targets for effective leadership and governance for mental health, provision of mental health services in communities, mental health promotion and prevention, or targets for strengthening of information systems, were close to being achieved.

In 2020, just 51 per cent of WHO’s 194 Member States reported that their mental health policy or plan was in line with international and regional human rights instruments, way short of the 80 per cent target.

And only 52 per cent of countries met the target relating to mental health promotion and prevention programmes, also well below the 80 per cent target.

The only 2020 target met was a reduction in the rate of suicide by 10 per cent, but even then, only 35 countries said they had a stand-alone prevention strategy, policy or plan, the report stated.

Massive inequalities 

Although gaps exist globally, there has been steady progress seen in the adoption of policies, plans and laws, as well as improvements in capacity to report regularly across years on a set of core mental health indicators, the report found.

Despite this, the  percentage of government health budgets spent on mental health has scarcely changed during the last years, still hovering around two per cent.

The Mental Health Atlas 2020 also shows massive inequalities in the availability of mental health resources and their allocation between high- and low-income countries and across regions.

More encouraging was the increase in countries reporting mental health promotion and prevention programmes, from 41 per cent of Member States in 2014 to 52 per cent in 2020.

Decentralized care is slow

The decentralization of mental health care to community settings has long been recommended by WHO.

However the report found that more than 70 per cent of total government expenditure on mental health was allocated to mental hospitals in middle-income countries, compared with 35 per cent in high-income countries.

This indicates that centralized mental hospitals and institutional inpatient care still receive more funds than services provided in general hospitals and primary health-care centres in many countries, the report said.

New targets for 2030

The global targets reported on in the Mental Health Atlas are from WHO’s Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan, which contained targets for 2020.

This plan has now been extended to 2030 and includes new targets for the inclusion of mental health and psychosocial support in emergency preparedness plans, the integration of mental health into primary health care, and research on mental health.

UN Health News

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AMCOW appoints Dr. Rashid Mbaziira as the new Executive Secretary – The Maravi Post




ABUJA, Nigeria, October 15, 2021 -/African Media Agency(AMA)/- The African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) has announced the appointment of Dr. Rashid Mbaziira – a Ugandan national – as its Executive Secretary. The announcement came at the end of an Extra Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of AMCOW and takes effect from 08 November 2021. 

A Rhodes Scholar, Dr Mbaziira was admitted to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy of the University of Oxford, St Catherine’s College, in 2007. His research was in the field of Water Sciences, Policy and Management. Dr. Mbaziira holds a BSc in Agricultural Engineering degree (First Class) from Makerere University, Kampala; and a Stage 1 certificate from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

He brings to the job two decades of experience, 15 years of which have been in providing policy development leadership in the water and sanitation sector in Africa. This includes formulation and operationalisation of strategic continental initiatives to implement the Sharm-el-Sheikh Declaration on accelerating the achievement of water and sanitation goals in Africa. 

His technical knowledge and practical disposition to addressing challenges related to water management, sanitation and hygiene services provision have made him a highly sought-after-professional. This is reflected by his robust track record of coordinating multi-stakeholder interventions to strengthen Africa’s water management function at both regional and sub-regional levels. A key highlight is the formulation of the African Water Resources Management Priority Action Programme 2016 – 2025 that informs the AMCOW Strategy 2018 -2030. He similarly provided technical facilitation to prepare the AMCOW Governance Framework and Management Strategy. 

Dr. Rashid Mbaziira as the new Executive Secretary

“I am humbled by the trust placed in me by the Council of Ministers to serve the water community in Africa,” Dr. Mbaziira said of appointment. “I pledge to fully apply myself to consolidate AMCOW’s function as an effective mandated organ of the African Union’s efforts to assure water security in Africa. Effective water management is vital to ensure human and environmental health; economic production; and climate resilience. In this context, AMCOW has to be at the forefront of initiatives to achieve the goals of African Union Agenda 2063. Of particular relevance to AMCOW’s mandate is Aspiration 1 of Agenda 2063, namely: to realise a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development.”

Hon. Carl Hermann Gustav Schlettwein – the Minister for Agriculture, Water and Land Reform of the Republic of Namibia, and President of the AMCOW Council of Ministers – announced Dr. Mbaziira’s appointment at the end of an extra-ordinary session of the AMCOW Executive Committee. 

 “I have no doubt that Dr. Mbaziira’s expertise will be brought to bear to revitalise AMCOW’s status as a trusted facilitator of action to achieve water and sanitation goals in Africa,” Hon. Schlettwein said.

He charged the new Executive Secretary to demonstrate AMCOW’s relevance to the Member States, the African Union and AMCOW partners through Thought-Leadership. 

“Given the slow vaccine roll-out in Africa, improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene services holds the promise for preventing the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases,” Hon Schlettwein added. “The expectations on AMCOW to accelerate action to get Member States on track to achieve SDG 6 cannot, therefore, be overemphasised.”

Dr. Mbaziira takes over from Dr. Canisius Kanangire who left AMCOW in May this year.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of AMCOW.

To arrange interviews please contact
Mrs Maïmouna Tall Ndiaye
AMCOW Communications and Visibility Manager
or +14705109320
or +221 77 695 37 93 (WhatsApp)

For more information, visit 

Follow AMCOW:  
Facebook: @amcowafrica 
Twitter: @amcowafrica

Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

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Nigeria military chief: leader of IS-linked group ISWAP killed – The Maravi Post




Nigeria’s military claimed on Thursday that Abu Musab al-Barnawi, the leader of an Islamic State-linked extremist group blamed for killing hundreds in the northeast, has died.

There was no immediate confirmation from the militants.

General Lucky Irabor, Nigerian Chief of Defense Staff, told reporters that Al-Barnawi “remains dead,” without giving details into the circumstances that led to his demise.

It was not possible to independently corroborate the claim and the military gave no further details about how it knew he had been killed.

Al-Barnawi’s father, Mohammed Yusuf, had been the founding leader of Boko Haram, the Islamic extremist group that has been carrying out an insurgency for more than a decade now.

The violence has spread to neighboring Niger, Cameroon and Chad as well, destabilizing the Lake Chad region.

Al-Barnawi frequently clashed with the man who replaced his father, Abubakar Shekau, and broke away in 2016 to form the Islamic State in West Africa Province or ISWAP.

Concern has mounted about ISWAP in recent years especially when the group began targeting civilians working for international aid organizations in the northeast.

The faction led by Shekau had appeared weakened and in May it was announced that he had been killed during clashes with fighters linked to Al-Barnawi.

Security analysts say that Al-Barnawi, however, had failed to win over thousands of Boko Haram members who had been loyal to Shekau and many surrendered to the Nigerian military instead.

Unlike Boko Haram, which often violently targeted civilian populations, ISWAP under al-Barnawi targeted the Nigerian military and those who aided the soldiers.

At the presser, Irabor added that insecurity as other threats especially in the north of the country “are not confined to boundaries” and said the Nigerian government works closely with its neighboring countries in the fight against terrorism and other forms of criminality.

“If all is well in our home and is not well with our neighbor, then, of course, we can’t have peace” he added.

The conflict in Nigeria has directly caused the death of 36,000 people, according to U.N, officials, with more than 2.3 million people displaced.

Source: Africanews

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Gary James Paulsen American Writer Dies At 82 Check Cause Of Death




Gary James Paulsen’s death has brought a mournful wave on social media and no doubt plenty more people are grieving today after hearing the news that claimed that young adult literature’s writer Gary Paulsen has passed away at the age of 82. Most of the notable personalities are showing the pain of losing the well-known writer. Here is the complete update on his death because you must be thinking that how did he die and what books he was famous for.

Gary James Paulsen

His work was notable for the teenage group however he was also so famous among adults because of the work. Though his book brought the hype in his life as usual, like other artists’ life he got immense popularity after his books “Coming Of Age” and some other stories about the “Wilderness”. Talking about some of his interesting facts so, do you know? that he wrote more than 200 books and also more than 200 magazine articles, short stories, and several plays. In the year 1997, he was honored by the “Margaret Edwards Award” by American Library Association for his lifetime contribution in writing for the teenage group.

The writer was born on May 17, 1939, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. Gary Paulsen closed his eyes forever on October 13, 2021, Wednesday. He was prominently known for Hatchet, The River, Dogsong, Woodsong, Winterdance, The Winter Room, and Harris and Me. His genre was Young adult fiction, adventure novels, nonfiction and comes to talking about the subjects so Adventure memoirs, sports. There is no doubt that readers got a huge loss today and specially those who are fond of reading sensational stories because the pen has died and world is mourning today of his death.

The news of death was firstly confirmed by Publishers Weekly where they took their Tweeter to confirmed the death news of Gary Paulsen. From big to small every single writer and mostly his readers are showing their love and respect towards the writer and also to his pen through which we got so many better from one another stories. Our deepest condlences are with his kin and every single reader and also the so-called compeitiors. May his soul rest in peace…

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