A rigorous review of the literature on pre-existing information relevant to mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) in Guinea, in the French and English languages. The report was requested by the World Health Organization (WHO) and completed by International Medical Corps.
The report presents the findings using an integrated psychological and anthropological framework that is instrumental in understanding MHPSS needs, and how to devise culturally-appropriate MHPSS interventions in Ebola-affected areas.
The report introduces general background information regarding the population of Guinea, its religions, history, politics, economics and health. It subsequently summarizes information on mental health and psychosocial issues including prevalence, local nosologies, help-seeking strategies, formal and informal resources of MHPSS sources of support. There is discussion of the ways in which causes and course of illness and misfortune are intertwined with plural cosmologies and with individuals’ relationships with the living, the dead, the spirit world, and nature itself. Finally, the humanitarian crisis of Ebola in Guinea is explored, alongside responses to it, and its social and psychological ramifications for the affected population.
Despite limited evidence the report can provide useful insights for policy-makers, donors, governments and service-providers.
Authors: Dr. Emilie Medeiros, Dr. David M.R. Orr and Jasmine Van Deventer