The government of Uganda has been asked to integrate mental health services into Tuberculosis (TB) programmes.
The call comes from United for Global Mental Health ahead of World TB Day, marked every 24th day of March through sharing of success stories and challenges faced in the elimination of TB.
This year’s theme, “Yes! We can end TB!” draws attention to the disease and collective power to eliminate it by 2030, a target set by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In a press statement, United for Global Mental Health organization says that this year’s World Mental Health Day, governments, health organisations, and other key stakeholders should prioritise the integration of mental health services into TB programs and invest more in mental health services and resources.
The group also urges stakeholders to ensure that political declarations at the United Nations high-level meeting on TB which will be held in September 2023 have strong messages which support the integration of mental health into TB programmes.
Depression is associated with delays in TB diagnosis, treatment, and poor treatment outcomes such as disability, poor quality of life, treatment failure, and death.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Mental Health Atlas 2020, levels of public expenditure on mental health are low with a global median of 2.1% of government health expenditure, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.