29 May 2017

Namibia: Cabinet Gives Mental Health Bill the Nod

CABINET has approved the Mental Health Bill 2017 in principle, information minister Tjekero Tweya said last week.

He said the bill has been referred to the Cabinet Committee on Legislation for scrutiny before it can be tabled in the National Assembly.

The bill, which was submitted by health minister Bernard Haufiku, will look at treating mental illness.

Various media reports have alluded to mental health being a primary problem, with passion killings and abortion, among other issues, being attributed to it.

A local daily reported last year that up to 8 000 people were treated for mental illness in Namibia during the year 2015.

"We have a sick society. Many times, we think that all of us are normal, but we are not," Tweya said.

Additionally, the fifth National Development Plan has been endorsed, and its launch authorised. All offices, ministries and agencies of government have meanwhile been directed to realign their plans according to the plan.

He said one of the things which Cabinet deliberated on is the report of the African Economic Platform, which was held in March this year in Mauritius.

Tweya said Cabinet approved the participation of Namibia's private sector, academics and youth representatives in the next African Economic Platform next year.

He said Cabinet had also directed the industrialisation and trade ministry to follow up on trade and investment opportunities, while the international relations ministry has to follow up on offers by the government of Mauritius to cooperate with Namibia on issues including cardiac treatment, the blue economy, agriculture, tourism and education.

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