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Guyana Observes World Mental Health Day, 10 October 2012

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World Mental Health Day 2012 Message From Dr. Beverley Barnett, PAHO/WHO Guyana Country Office Representative

    
Every year, World Mental Health Day, an initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) since 1992, is commemorated on 10 October.  World Mental Health Day is a global campaign inviting everyone –from global leaders to the public in all countries - to focus on a mental health challenge with global impact. It provides an opportunity for everyone to recognize the challenges that individuals, families, and communities experience due to mental disorders; discuss these disorders more openly; and support investments in prevention and treatment services.

The theme for World Mental Health Day 2012 is “Depression: A Global Crisis” and it aims to encourage governments and civil society around the world to address depression as a widespread illness that affects individuals, their families, their peers, and their communities, and to recognize that it is a treatable condition.  

Depression is a common mental disorder that presents with sad mood, loss of interest or pleasure, decreased energy, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, and poor concentration. Moreover, depression often comes with symptoms of anxiety. These problems can become chronic or recurrent and lead to substantial impairments in an individual’s ability to take care of his or her everyday responsibilities. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide. Almost 1 million lives are lost yearly due to suicide, which translates to 3,000 suicide deaths every day. For every person who completes a suicide, 20 or more may attempt to end their lives (WHO, 2012). In Guyana, suicide prevention is a priority mental and public health issue.

Depression is a significant contributor to the global burden of disease and affects people in all communities across the world. Today, depression is estimated to affect 350 million people worldwide, and the World Mental Health Survey conducted in 17 countries found that on average about 1 in 20 people reported having an episode of depression in the previous year. Depressive disorders often start at a young age and the demand for curbing depression and other mental disorders is on the rise globally.  The global burden of depression poses a substantial public health challenge, both at the social and economic levels as well as the clinical level, and there are several well- defined, evidence- based strategies that can effectively reduce this burden.

Economic analyses have indicated that treating depression in primary care is feasible, affordable, and cost-effective. Many prevention programs implemented across the lifespan have provided evidence on the reduction of elevated levels of depressive symptoms. Effective community approaches to prevent depression focus on several actions surrounding the strengthening of protective factors and the reduction of risk factors. Examples of strengthening protective actors include school-based programs targeting children and adolescents, as well as exercise programs for the elderly. Interventions for parents of children with behavioral problems include provision of information and training in behavioral child-rearing strategies, which may reduce parental depressive symptoms and improve outcomes in the children, regarding their cognitive, problem-solving and social skills. Suicide prevention involves not only prevention and effective treatment of depression, but also restriction in access to means for suicide.

On this World Mental Health Day 2012, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) emphasizes the importance of good mental health to prevent and alleviate pain and depression throughout the life-course in order to save lives, promote and protect health, and foster well-being. Regular physical activity, a healthy diet, relaxation techniques, healthy sleeping habits, and avoidance of stress, drug use, and the harmful use of alcohol, are all important in the maintenance of mental health.

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (WHO, 1948). Let us not neglect our mental health; let us educate ourselves about depression and other mental disorders, take measures to maintain our mental health, and support those who are suffering from mental disorders.

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 October 2012 09:56
 

Guyana's modes of transmission study experience July 2012

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 An agreement was reached by the Ministry
of Health (MOH) and partners in Guyana that the
MOT exercise would begin with the establishment
of a technical working group (TWG) of data
experts (including individuals who actually had
hands-on experience working on previous surveillance
study data collection activities and
could respond to key questions posed during the
exercise).
This TWG was responsible for conducting
the initial inventory of available data for this
study and included representatives from organisations
such as the MOH, National AIDS Programme
(NAP), Pan-American Health Organisation
(PAHO), Joint United Nations Programme
on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), United States Agency
for International Development (USAID), Centre
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and
MEASURE Evaluation.

To read more please see PDF document below.

icon What do we know? (613.84 kB)

Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 October 2012 10:03
 

GUYANA OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE CARIBBEAN WELLNESS WEEK HELD ON 8 SEPTEMBER 2012

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The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) participated in a Fitness walk activity held by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat in collaboration with the Minister’s Secretariat, Ministry of Health and other stakeholders.  This activity was conducted in commemoration of Caribbean Wellness Day which was celebrated on 8 September 2012.

The walk commenced from the CARICOM Secretariat and ended in the National Park    where brief remarks were made by the Honourable Bheri Ramsarran, Minister of Health representatives from CARICOM, PAHO/WHO and the US Embassy.  The theme of the day’s activity was "Love that body: building the foundation for healthy lifestyles".

Eng Adrianus Vlugman, Senior Advisor, Environmental Health and Sustainability, PAHO/WHO, made brief remarks on the topic ‘healthy choices’.  In his remarks, reference was made to the fact that more than 36 million deaths worldwide are caused by NCDs and 80 percent of the population in low and middle-income countries being affected.  He further highlighted that the major causes of these diseases are smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, poor diet and substance abuse, which are considered key risk factors.

Eng Vlugman highlighted that young people’s lifestyle choices are made early in life and in their early to mid-teens, while still at school.  He stressed to the youths that health is not difficult it is very easy, once you adopt healthy lifestyle, including:

  1. Be physically active: walk, climb the stairs at school or office, exercise, dance, have fun and keep moving!
  2. Eat healthy: Eat grains, vegetables and fruits, take that salt shaker from the table to reduce salt intake, promote breast feeding.
  3. Limit alcohol use! Too much alcohol is devastating to your health and ability to study and work.  Alcohol causes many traffic accidents and shortens once life significantly!
  4. Don’t Smoke:  Smoking is one of the worst vices when it comes to health causing many cancers, early aging and untimely death!
  5. Check your health: blood pressure, Cholesterol, women: get a Pap smear and men+50 check your prostate”.

In his closing remarks, he outlined that PAHO/WHO collaborates with policy and decision makers to create healthy environments and public spaces to facilitate healthy living making it easier for individuals to exercise healthier choices.

The Caribbean Wellness Week activity ended with the conduct of physical aerobics. All participants were encouraged to do the exercises.  The physical activity segment was included to emphasize the importance of exercise as a contributory factor to good health for all and ultimately, a healthy body.  

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 September 2012 14:54
 

IMAI HIV/TB Co-Management Training for Health Workers training held on the 27- 31 August in Mahdia, Region 8.

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Photos of the facilitators, from left Dr. Karen Cummings, Ms. Neibert Tucker and Mr. Noel Holder.

The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) conducted five-day training on IMAI HIV/TB Co-Management Training for Health Workers.

The objective of the training was to improve knowledge and skills of health care workers in IMAI HIV/TB Co-Management. Sixteen (16) health care workers from the Mahdia District Hospital and Priceville Health Centre participated in the training held at the Regional Democratic Council.

The facilitators were Dr. Karen Cummings, PAHO/WHO IMAI Coordinator, Ms. Neibert Tucker, Mr. Noel Holder, Ms Melanie Thomas, PAHO/CIDA Coordinator, Ms Nicole Melville, Dots Coordinator and Leona Da Costa, Dots Field Supervisor.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 September 2012 10:43
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Guyana's modes of transmission study experience

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UNAIDS’ advocacy for countries to “Know Your Epidemic and Know your Response” is based on the
premise of advanced data collection, analysis and use. For this reason, the UNAIDS Reference Group for Estimations, Models and Projections developed the Modes of Transmission (MOT) model in 2002. It’s meant to help countries estimate the distribution of new HIV infections by modes of transmission and use existing epidemiological data to better target prevention programming.

Guyana is a small country with notable resource constraints. Considerable efforts have been made to mitigate the effects of HIV on its relatively small population. In this context it is especially important to ensure that the optimal use of data leads to the most effective use of resources.

Because Guyana has been one of the most heavily affected countries in the region, its HIV and AIDS response has also benefited from both financial and technical support from multiple sources (Global Fund, United States Government, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and United Nations agencies).

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 September 2012 11:37
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52nd Directing Council

 

MiNDbank

http://www.who.int/mental_health/mindbank/en/

The MiNDbank is a database of resources covering mental health, substance
abuse, disability, general health, human rights, and development.
You can view this database via the link above, and the pdf file below for more information.

icon MindBank (285.51 kB)

 

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