Public health and research funding for childhood neurodevelopmental disorders in Sub-Saharan Africa: a time to balance priorities
AbstractSub-Saharan African (SSA) population consists of about 45% children, while in Europe and North America children population is 10- 15%. Lately, attention has been directed at mitigating childhood infectious and communicable diseases to reduce under-five mortality. As the under-five mortality index in Sub-Saharan Africa has relatively improved over the last two decades, more Sub-Saharan African children are surviving beyond the age of five and, apparently, a sizeable percentage of this population would be living with one or more childhood neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD). The distribution of child mental health service resources across the world is unequal. This manifests in the treatment gap of major childhood onset mental health problems in SSA, with the gap being more pronounced for childhood NDD. It is important to balance the public health focus and research funding priorities in Sub-Saharan Africa. We urgently need to define the burden of childhood NDD in the region for healthcare planning and policy formulation.
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Copyright (c) 2014 Muideen O. Bakare, Kerim M. Munir, Mashudat A. Bello-Mojeed
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