By Amos Fofung
In Cameroon as in most African states, depression is often referred to as the Whiteman’s thing with little or no attention given to the effects and mental complications that depressed victims risk sliding into. Millions of Africans of both sexes suffer the effects of depression but more than 85% of the affected have no idea they are depressed or how to go on with treatment.
Statistics from the World Health Organization revealed that at least 66 million women in Africa suffer from depression with the male sex having a better record of the mental state of mind.
According to “Forbes” Africa is home to 14 out of the 21 saddest countries in the world. They including, Mali, Senegal, Tanzania, Rwanda, Cameroon, Uganda, Zambia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sudan, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, and Central African Republic.
In most African states, findings reveal that 1 in 5 adults, be them male or female suffer from depression which many at times contribute to increase in suicide rates, Sexual dysfunction, anxiety, decreased immune system functioning, family and marital problems, social isolation, self-mutilation and premature death in medical conditions among others.
Against this backdrop, Cameroonian social entrepreneur, Ngwane Hansel who equally host “The Hansel Show”, has launched a project to tackle the problem.
In a bid to curb the prevalence of depression in Cameroon and beyond, Hansel launched an audiobook project dubbed “Overcoming Depression” wherein he gives guidelines, professional recommendations, advise and counseling on depression.
Launched under LouChat, an institution that seeks to provide solutions to one of the biggest mental problems affecting Cameroonian youths, the audiobook examines depression from the Cameroonian perspective in a broader view.
“Depression in Cameroon is gradually becoming a call for concern, mainly because more people are beginning to understand its effects. Over 30% of the population suffer from depression in Cameroon, and the majority are the youths,” he says.
“These youths undergo mental and physical pain on a daily basis but are forced to wear a smile in order to mask the hard reality. Downloading a copy of chapter 1 will enable the listener to identify the causes of depression as well as its manifestations.”
Though focused in Cameroon, Ngwane Hansel has identified depression as a phenomenon that affects millions in Africa as is poised to share his widely acquired knowledge to all throughout the continent and to change the narrative Africans have about depression.