Advertisement
Advertisement
Ghana News

Why African Governments Need to Invest in Mental Health Infrastructure to Tackle Climate-Related Stress Among Farmers

Advertisement

African farmers and livestock keepers are feeling the negative impacts of climate change more than ever, and it is taking a toll on their mental health. According to Dr. Rosalid Nkirote, executive director of the African Coalition of Communities Responsive to Climate Change, these communities are experiencing rising cases of depression as they lose their investments due to droughts and floods.

For the most part, governments in Africa have not given mental health infrastructure the attention it deserves. The World Health Organization reports that there is only one mental health worker per 100,000 people in Africa, compared to a global average of nine per 100,000 people. In rural areas, the situation is worse, with most people having to walk for at least an hour to access healthcare facilities. The longer distances to facilities, particularly with no road network and limited vehicular transport, may limit access to life-saving interventions.

Advertisement

To address the problem, African governments need to urgently invest in mental health infrastructure. While efforts such as developing drought-resistant crops and implementing early warning systems for disasters are laudable, mental health infrastructure is badly needed, particularly in rural and pastoral areas that have historically been neglected.

Climate change is an emerging threat to public health, and it may get worse as the planet warms. Early warning systems for extreme weather events provide advance notice of impending disasters, allowing individuals and communities to take necessary measures to reduce risks and prepare for the event, take protective measures, thereby saving lives and reducing damages to property and infrastructure.

The relationship between climate change and health is complex, to some extent not so direct. Climate change may be one of the indirect factors that are contributing to the prevalence of mental disorders. The background vulnerabilities that create the conditions for increasing the risk of mental illness can be directly or indirectly influenced by climate change.

In a nutshell, the investment in mental health infrastructure by African governments is a necessary step to tackle the rising but hidden cases of climate-related stress among farmers and livestock keepers. Climate change is affecting livelihoods, the management of resources, health, and productivity of people, leading to food insecurity, rising conflicts, increasing poverty, creating internal displacement of populations, and increasing refugee crises as people flee areas of extreme climate events such as floods and droughts. It is time for governments to pay attention to the mental status of their citizens and provide the necessary support to protect vulnerable populations.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement
Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker!