Where is South Africa's Mental Health Medication?

In August, almost half of the most commonly used medications to treat mental illness in South Africa were out of stock, and many have been in short supply since March. Now, experts warn that amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the nation could see a "shadow epidemic" of psychiatric illness that could prove deadly for patients. In most countries, the medications offered in the public sector are determined by what is included in the essential medicines list. Mental health non-profit organisations contracted by the Gauteng provincial government estimate that they have spent tens of thousands of rands out-of-pocket, to cover medicine shortfalls such as these, writes Laura Lopez Gonzalez for Spotlight.

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