Mental health democratization is one of the great Côte d’Ivoire’s challenges. The lack of knowledge on common diseases such as epilepsy or depression, leads to adverse interpretations and stigmatization of people living with those conditions.
Thus, people with psychosis are often feared and excluded from the community. Many people with epilepsy are considered as contagious and therefore are not allowed to share any food with someone, or are deprived of some food in order to be cured. A child born with a visible mental or neurological trouble, may be considered as a n « snake-child », that is, it is an baby animal which must be eliminated.
However, many voices are raising, calling fot mor information on those conditions, and the way to manage them with a more human approch. This is why the SAMENTACOM project team frequently organize awareness sessions. C’est ainsi que l’équipe du projet SAMENTACOM intervient régulièrement au long de l’année dans des activités de sensibilisation. Based in Bouaké, its members are asked in numerous locations. They advocate in health, social or meditatic facilities, in front of professionals, stakeholders, as well as the general public.