Depression in Sub-Saharan Africa

Elsevier, IBRO Neuroscience Reports, Volume 12, June 2022
Gbadamosi I.T., Henneh I.T., Aluko O.M., Yawson E.O., Fokoua A.R., Koomson A. et al.

Mood disorders can be considered among the most common and debilitating mental disorders. Major depression, as an example of mood disorders, is known to severely reduce the quality of life as well as psychosocial functioning of those affected. Its impact on the burden of disease worldwide has been enormous, with the World Health Organisation projecting depression to be the leading cause of mental illness by 2030. Despite several studies on the subject, little has been done to contextualise the condition in Africa, coupled with the fact that there is still much to be understood on the subject. This review attempts to shed more light on the prevalence of depression in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), its pathophysiology, risk factors, diagnosis and the experimental models available to study depression within the sub-region. It also evaluates the contribution of the sub-region to the global research output of depression as well as bottlenecks associated with full exploitation of the sub region's resources to manage the disorder.