The Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) announced on Wednesday, 16 March, the launch of the first free of charge mental health and addiction treatment digital service in Egypt.
Under the auspices of Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and acting Minister of Health Population, and in conjunction with the General Secretariat for Mental Health and the World Health Organization (WHO), the platform aims to expand the provision of mental health services and drug addiction treatment by making it available and accessible to all.
Menan Abdel Maksoud, the Secretary-General of Mental Health and Addiction Treatment at the MoHP stated that the platform aims to provide a free of charge service for mental health and addiction treatment for Egyptian and non-Egyptians of all age groups that reside in Egypt.
The platform is divided into three main sections: the first section provides educational and awareness services, the second section provides psychological support and counseling services through virtual clinics, and the third section is for the site’s supervisors and administrators to monitor and evaluate the platform’s performance.
The first of its kind in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, the platform features a cooperation between the General Secretariat for Mental Health and Addiction Treatment, the National Information Center at the MoHP, WHO, and the University of British Columbia in Canada.
The platform is staffed by a group of experts from the MoHP, psychotherapists, and international experts in the field of psychiatry and addiction treatment.
A nation-wide survey in 2018 by MoHP found that 25 percent of Egyptians suffer with mental-health related problems.
In 2019, former Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali explained that drug addiction in Egypt has reached 10 percent of Egyptians.
The director of the National Fund for Drug Control and Treatment of Addiction explained to Al Ahram Online that Mohamed Salah’s campaign, ‘you are stronger than drugs,’ has helped in the fight against addiction. As a result of anti-drug campaigns, drug abuse dropped to almost 6 percent and addiction to 2.3 percent in 2020.