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Social determinants in low-income countries 

Social determinants in low-income countries
Chapter:
Social determinants in low-income countries
Author(s):

Syed Masud Ahmed

, and Mohammad Didar Hossain

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198792994.003.0020
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date: 25 February 2020

Mental health disorders are increasingly being recognized as an important public health problem in low-income countries of Asia and Africa. For people of low-income countries, poverty is all pervasive and affects physical, as well as mental, health in various ways. Common mental disorders (CMD), such as anxiety and depression, are quite common among these populations. Social determinants—such as poverty and exclusion; low level of education; violence against women, including intimate partner violence; unemployment; unhygienic living and work environment; and social capital—play a significant role in precipitating CMD at different stages of life. The association is not always straightforward as sometimes these determinants act in a vicious circle (e.g. poverty and mental illnesses), which, in turn, is exacerbated by other determinants such as low education and unemployment. To address this complex problem, tackling of these important social determinants is essential and should be prioritized.

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