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Guinea is a country with an approximate area of 246 thousand sq. km. (UNO, 2001). Its population is 8.62 million, and the sex ratio (men per hundred women) is 101 (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 4% (WHO, 2004). The literacy rate is 50% for men and 22% 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 3.5%. The per capita total expenditure on health is 61 international $, and the per capita government expenditure on health is 33 international $ (WHO, 2004). The main language(s) used in the country is (are) French. The largest ethnic group(s) is (are) Peuhl, and the other ethnic group(s) are (is) Malinke and Susu. The largest religious group(s) is (are) Muslim.

The life expectancy at birth is 50.9 years for males and 53.7 years for females (WHO, 2004). The healthy life expectancy at birth is 44 years for males and 46 years for females (WHO, 2004).


There is a paucity of epidemiological data on mental illnesses in Guinea in internationally accessible literature.


Mental Health Policy A mental health policy is present. The policy was initially formulated in 1995. The components of the policy are advocacy, promotion, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. Integration and decentralization are also components of the policy.

Substance Abuse Policy A substance abuse policy is present. The policy was initially formulated in 1999.

National Mental Health Programme A national mental health programme is present. The programme was formulated in 2000.

National Therapeutic Drug Policy/Essential List of Drugs A national therapeutic drug policy/essential list of drugs is present. Details about the year of formulation are not available.

Mental Health Legislation Measures related to prevention, protection and treatment have been taken (chapter 11, article 209-221 of the public health code) as part of the mental health legislation. The latest legislation was enacted in 1997.

Mental Health Financing There are no budget allocations for mental health. Details about expenditure on mental health are not available. The primary source of mental health financing is out of pocket expenditure by the patient or family. The country does not have disability benefits for persons with mental disorders.

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. Mental health in primary care is to be introduced. 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. Traditional medicine is available at the 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
  • 0.05
  • 0.05
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0.04
  • 0.03
  • 0
  • 0.04
  • 0
  • 0

Psychologists and social workers are present in the Ministry of Social Affairs.

Non-Governmental Organizations NGOs are involved with mental health in the country. They are mainly involved in advocacy, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.

Information Gathering System There is no mental health reporting system in the country. It is proposed to start a form of reporting system for mental health. The country has no data collection system or epidemiological study on mental health. Data is collected only at the hospital level. No epidemiological survey exists.

Programmes for Special Population There are no programmes for special population.

Therapeutic Drugs The following therapeutic drugs are generally available at the primary health care level of the country: carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin sodium, amitriptyline, chlorpromazine, diazepam, fluphenazine, haloperidol, lithium. Only phenobarbital, chlorpromazine and diazepam are available at the primary care level. Other drugs are on the list but are not available at the primary care level.

Source: World Health Organization Mental Health Atlas