Main Article Content

There is urgent need to train African family doctors on Primary Mental Health Care

A.J. Ariba
O.O. Adeko
O.O. Ogunsemi


Mental, neurological and substance use (MNS) disorders are prevalent in Africa, and most African Health systems agree that optimal mental health outcomes are best achieved through  integration of Mental Health services (MHS) into the general  framework of existing Primary Health Care (PHC)  Services. But the  integration efforts across the continent have so far largely excluded  family doctors who are the physicians closest to where the people   live. The authors posit that non-inclusion of family doctors while  integrating mental health into PHC is an aberration that slows down  access of patients to  quality mental health care at this crucial first  contact level. This is in contrast to the situation in countries where  family doctors are fully involved in  managing mental health  conditions in primary care. The case is made for urgent and  deliberate policy to train African Family doctors on how to   continuously provide effective mental care at the PHC level through  task-shifting or other methods of scaling up of mental health care  treatment.  

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2141-9884