The Republic of Equatorial Guinea (Republica de Guinea Ecuatorial) is the only Spanish-speaking country in Africa, and one of the smallest nations on the continent. In the late-1990s, American companies helped discover the country's oil and natural gas resources, which only within the last five years began contributing to the global energy supply. Equatorial Guinea is now working to serve as a pillar of stability and security in its region of West Central Africa.
Equatorial Guinea has an approximate area of 28 thousand sq. km. (UNO, 2001). The country consists of the mainland (Rio Muni) and several islands, the largest of which is Bioko. Its population is 0.507 million, and the sex ratio (men per hundred women) is 98 (UNO, 2004). The proportion of population under the age of 15 years is 44% (UNO, 2004), and the proportion of population above the age of 60 years is 6% (WHO, 2004). The literacy rate is 92.1% for men and 74.5% for women (UNESCO/MoH, 2004).
The country is a low income group country (based on World Bank 2004 criteria). The proportion of health budget to GDP is 2%. The per capita total expenditure on health is 106 international $, and the per capita government expenditure on health is 64 international $ (WHO, 2004).
The main language(s) used in the country is (are) Spanish, French, Ndowe, Bisio and Annobonés. The largest ethnic group(s) is (are) Fang, and the other ethnic group(s) are (is) Buby, Ndowe, Bisio and Annobonés. The largest religious group(s) is (are) Roman Catholic, and the other religious group(s) are (is) Protestant and indigenous groups.
The life expectancy at birth is 51.9 years for males and 54.8 years for females (WHO, 2004). The healthy life expectancy at birth is 45 years for males and 46 years for females (WHO, 2004).
There is a paucity of epidemiological data on mental illnesses in Equatorial Guinea in internationally accessible literature.
MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES
Mental Health Policy A mental health policy is absent.
Substance Abuse Policy A substance abuse policy is absent.
National Mental Health Programme A national mental health programme is present. The programme was formulated in 1997.The programme exists in a preliminary form.
National Therapeutic Drug Policy/Essential List of Drugs A national therapeutic drug policy/essential list of drugs is present. It was formulated in 1996.
Mental Health Legislation There is no mental health legislation.
Mental Health Financing There are budget allocations for mental health. Details about expenditure on mental health are not available. The primary sources of mental health financing in descending order are out of pocket expenditure by the patient or family, social insurance, private insurances and tax based. Details about disability benefits for mental health are not available.
Mental Health Facilities Mental health is a part of primary health care system. Actual treatment of severe mental disorders is not available at the primary level. While mental health care is expected to cover for mental health, very limited care is actually available. Regular training of primary care professionals is not carried out in the field of mental health. There are no community care facilities for patients with mental disorders. Only traditional healers offer treatment at community level.
Psychiatric Beds and Professionals
Total psychiatric beds per 10 000 population
Psychiatric beds in mental hospitals per 10 000 population
Psychiatric beds in general hospitals per 10 000 population
Psychiatric beds in other settings per 10 000 population
Number of psychiatrists per 100 000 population
Number of neurosurgeons per 100 000 population
Number of psychiatric nurses per 100 000 population
Number of neurologists per 100 000 population
Number of psychologists per 100 000 population
Number of social workers per 100 000 population
Non-Governmental Organizations NGOs are not involved with mental health in the country.
Information Gathering System There is no mental health reporting system in the country. The country has no data collection system or epidemiological study on mental health.
Programmes for Special Population There are no specific programmes.
Therapeutic Drugs The following therapeutic drugs are generally available at the primary health care level of the country: carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin sodium, sodium valproate, chlorpromazine, diazepam, haloperidol, levodopa. The essential drug list was revised in the year 2000.
The appointment of a Focal Point for mental health in the Ministry of Health is under consideration.
Source: World Health Organization Mental Health Atlas