World Health Day 2017. Depression:Let's Talk

Depression is common in older people but often overlooked and untreated. It is an illness characterized by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that one normally enjoys, accompanied by inability to carry out daily activities, for at least two weeks

Depression among older people is often associated with physical conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic pain; difficult life events, such as losing a partner; and a reduced ability to do things that were possible when younger. WHO has produced fact sheets and vidoes for the World Health Day 2017 Campaign that can be found here: http://who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2017/en/

Zimbabwe commemorated the 2017 World Health Day on the 7th of April at Harare Hospital with people encouraged to talk about depression. The event saw the Minister of Health and Child Care launching the Mental Health Discharge Guidelines and officially opening the Psychiatric OPD and renovated inpatient department.Interesting about the psychiatric department is that it also focuses on provision of geriatric psychiatry.

Geriatric services are limited in the country yet over 700 000 people in the country are aged 60 and above, With the challenges faced by older persons that include isolation, witchcraft accusations and property grabbing, investing in psychiatry services can help promote healthy and active ageing.

The story of the event can also be read on the WHO website http://www.afro.who.int/en/zimbabwe/press-materials/item/9516-zimbabweans-urged-to-talk-about-depression.html