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Egypt Directs Its Attention Towards Mental Health

cairo city life drug abuse drug and substance abuse drugs egypt Egyptians mental health mental health issue stigma substance abuse taboo
Egypt Directs Its Attention Towards Mental Health
written by
Sherif Khairy

Egypt has recently been allocating a lot of effort towards combating the spread of drug addiction among the country’s youths. This is made evident, for example, by the release of a massive video ad campaign, starring Mohamed Salah and Mohamed Hamaki, and geared towards combating this issue. This video ad contained a hotline number that has been specifically designed to help those who are seeking rehabilitation options.

According to a study published by the Journal of Addiction and Prevention “[In Egypt] substance use and abuse have higher lifetime prevalence among young and middle aged males, less educated persons, working in technical or commercial jobs, with failed marriage, and living in urban areas.”

Today, another hotline has been added, and it is designed to help those suffering from mental health issues in general. Dr. Khaled Megahed, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Health, has stated that these two hotlines “are not only intended to help those suffering from addiction per se; they are intended to help those suffering from mental health issues in general.”

According to a study published by the Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal “[In Egypt] the overall prevalence of mental health issues has be been estimated at 16.93% of the adult population. The main problems were mood disorders, 6.43%, anxiety disorders, 4.75%, and multiple disorders, 4.72%. Mental disorders were associated with sociodemographic factors (e.g. being female, being unemployed, being divorced) and physical illness (e.g. heart disease, kidney disease, hypertension).” 

Additionally, those who suffer from mental health issues in Egypt are subject to bullying, social stigma, and ignorantly hurtful remarks. That being said, we really hope that this campaign helps remove one of the longest standing taboos in Egypt’s modern history.

On a final note, the actual number of calls made to the addiction hotline have increased by a whopping 400%, after the aforementioned video ad was released. So go ahead call 08008880700 or 0220816831, if you need help and would like to talk to somebody.