Newsletter September 2011
Dear colleagues and friends,
Last week the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases was on the agenda of the General Assembly High-level Meeting of the United Nations in New York. This meeting marked a very important point in our work, in different ways. Recent figures point out that the four main non communicable diseases (NCDs) - cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic lung diseases and diabetes – not only kill three in five people worldwide, but also that 80% of related deaths occur in the developing world – and this rate keeps growing. They are also responsible for socioeconomic stagnation that keeps endangering the world. It is necessary to focus on these new challenges – while at the same time nobody can afford to do this at the cost of attention for the ‘traditional’ communicable killers diseases: Tuberculosis, Malaria and HIV/Aids. Difficult as this shall be, there is another problem related to this. The fifth non-communicable disease that should have been addressed here is mental health. Unfortunately the international lobby for mental health, in which we play an active part, has not resulted in the inclusion of this important gap. That leaves us with a double challenge in the field of mental health: we shall continue to develop sustainable models for service delivery and we shall look for connections (important in terms of funding) with the other NCD’s. And at the same time, we need to scale up our advocacy activities to help keep mental health on the agenda.
Willem van de Put, general director
HealthNet TPO recently published its annual report about 2010. The report describes activities, results and financial statements of the past year. For HealthNet TPO 2010 was marked by growth: a doubling of turnover, an increase of staff members in both the field and head office, and many new programmes aiming to rebuild community trust.
On July 9th 2011 South Sudan became independent of the north. As HealthNet TPO we have scaled up our activities a great deal in this youngest country of the world. Now, more than two months after the new flag was raised, we can have a look at what changes have occurred after independency. Has this had any impact on our projects at all?
The World Health Organization (WHO) on the 9th October 2008 launched the mhGAP Intervention Guide (mhGAP-IG). This guide is for mental, neurological and substance use disorders, a diagnostic tool and treatment algorithm for non-specialists to provide mental health care in low and middle income settings. The guide was developed through a systematic process of review and international consultation.
Since July 2010 the 'Lisanga' project is implemented by our local partner Association pour des Projets Psycho-Sociaux (APPS) in Kinshasa, DR Congo, with the support of HealthNet TPO. Aim of the project is to strengthen the social cohesion and the resilience of the community in order to cope with psychosocial problems.
HealthNet TPO, in close cooperation with the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA), developed a methodology for COA in order to provide better support and coaching for refugees with problematic behaviour in The Netherlands.
...Consolata Mayondo, Technical Officer HealthNet TPO Burundi. Consolata started working for HealthNet TPO Burundi in 2007. In August 2009 she started to work as a coordinator for the psychosocial related activities. Consolata coordinated, amongst others, the pilot project ‘Sociotherapy’.
Intervention Journal is the international journal of mental health, psychosocial work and counselling in areas of armed conflict. Intervention Journal stimulates the discussion between fieldworkers with diverging approaches and between fieldworkers, academics and policy makers.