CNN: AFRO’s Statement on Maternal Mental Health

(CNN)—AFRO region makes breakthrough by prioritizing maternal mental health. The AFRO region has come up with a statement with consensus, the first region at the 2019 conference to do so. Here is the official statement:

 

Recognizing limited maternal mental health research capabilities, inadequate data acquisition capacities, vast cultural nuances across the region, and recent research acknowledging the largely unknown scope and impacts of maternal mental health conditions across the region,

 

We the AFRO Region,

 

Express the need of prioritizing maternal mental health as a “health crisis”

 

Recommend that participating nation-states prioritize mental health counseling as outlined by the African Association of Psychiatrists and Allied Professions

 

Trusts member states to address stigmatic social barriers to mental healthcare access in ways they deem nationally appropriate

 

Suggests its nation-states allocate a portion of its external funding from NGOs and the UN to providing cost-effective and sustainable treatment for mothers
Proclaims the intense urgency, specifically in southeastern Africa, of maternal mental healthcare access and effective treatment following complex emergencies of increasing intensity and urgency

 

This is an amazing breakthrough, because they recognized that maternal mental health, eventually, affects the entire region. In a sit down interview with the Delegate of Ethiopia, I asked why this topic was important, and how they were able to come to a consensus. He said that the topic is vital because maternal mental health is everyone’s health. He continued to say that this region came to a consensus by recognizing that, though there may be differences in logistics, they all had the same goals and initiatives. I think that in discussion, its so easy to go off on tangents and discover small differences. Thus, I admire that AFRO was able to see the common goal first.

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