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BBC.com: Africa’s most depressed nations

Posted by: Berhane Habtemariam

Date: Thursday, 02 March 2017

Africa’s most depressed nations

 
Black woman hugging her knees Black woman hugging her knees

According to a report, titled Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders – Global Health Estimates, released last week by the World Health Organization conducted in 2015 here are the countries in Africa with the most cases of depression

Djibouti; 5.1 percent of its population is depressed

Cape Verde /Tunisia 4.9 of their population depressed

Lesotho has 4.8 percent of its population depressed

Ethiopia / Botswana have 4.7 percent of their population affected with depression

Algeria has 4.5 percent of its population depressed

Kenya/Comoros/Madagascar/Mauritius/Namibia/South Sudan have 4.4 percent of their population depressed

The list focuses of depressive disorders. Depressive disorders are characterized by sadness severe enough or persistent enough to interfere with function and often by decreased interest or pleasure in activities.

The report says poverty and unemployment are the major factors that contribute to depression. Other factors are physical illness, life events such as death of a loved one and drug abuse.

The number of people living with depression in the world was estimated to have exceeded 300 million. Depression is 1.5 times more common among women than men.

“More women are affected by depression than men and the prevalence varies by regions, from a low of 2.6 per cent among males in Western Pacific region to 5.9 per cent among females in Africa,” says the report

Compared to the WHO’s 2005 report, the number of depression cases increased by 18.4% while anxiety cases increased by 14.9% during the 10-year period.

Niger recorded the lowest number of depressed people in its population with a 3.4 percent

“Depression may become a serious health condition. It can cause the affected person to suffer greatly and function poorly at work, school and in the family. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide,” it says.

According to the report, close to 800,000 people die annually due to suicide, the second leading cause of death in 15 to 29- year-olds.

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