Somalilandsun: Mental Health, Neurological and Substance Abuse are worldwide health problems, affecting social Groups of all ages, Somaliland is among the countries with a high prevalence of mental health illness
This is according to the Somaliland Mental health policy in which the ministry of health addresses the importance of ‘Legislation’ which safeguards and protects the rights of the afflicted as well as family members. Read policy download HERE
In pursuit of implementing the mental health policy the administration of President Musa Bihi has created various mechanisms to accrue relevant funds.
Spearheaded by the ministry of finance the government has established an account for the purpose of accumulating funds generated from contributions by Khat importers.
This was disclosed by minister of finance Dr Saad Ali Shire through a press statement which revered that Khat importers will start to be charged SL shs 200 per every kilogramme of Khat.
The statement read
“In reference to article 11.2 section 4 of the National budget 2021 all custom offices are instructed to start charging an extra SL shs 200 on every 1KG of Khat imported into the country as of 1st January 2021”
The finance minster said that this amount which is not part of official tax payable is as per agreement reached between the ministries of finance and health, the national mental health hospital committee and Khat Importers for purposes of supporting citizens suffering from mental illness.
Somaliland is and has for a long time experienced an explosion of mental health problems directly linked to the 1980s to early 90s devastating civil war.
Apart from the traumatic results of the civil war the widespread misuse of Khat, a herbal stimulant imported mostly from Ethiopia and to a lesser extend Kenya, has exacerbated the problem thus one in every three households in the country is home to a mentally challenged person.
While the government in partnership with both international and local organizations can be credit in establishing a semblance of professional medical support the infusion of these new funds directly to the afflicted and their families is a major boost.
According a Cambridge University Press report of 2019 Mental Health in Somaliland is in a critical situation HERE