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Mental health – an underestimated public health challenge

Around 450 million people in the world suffer from mental disorders,1 which are the second leading cause of morbidity and mortality in developing countries2. In these countries, the majority of patients do not receive suitable treatment; they are often rejected, excluded, and sometimes even chained up. Poor understanding of the diseases, inadequate training of healthcare professionals and poor access to medicines represent major barriers to access to care.

Sanofi’s pioneering commitment

Since 2008, we have been instigating programs and collaborations, to improve access to mental health care in developing countries. Initially launched in Morocco and Mauritania in collaboration with local authorities, health professionals, patient organizations and NGOs, our programs have since been implemented in Armenia, Benin, Comoros, Guatemala, Madagascar through the FAST project, an innovative public-private partnership with the World Association of Social Psychiatry (WASP).

Our priorities are:

  • To bring together the various stakeholders involved in mental health (public, private, NGOs, universities)
  • To fight stigmatization
  • To train front-line healthcare professionals
  • To make medicines accessible to the most disadvantaged patients through preferential pricing

Discover the video Access to healthcare in Mental Health in Mauritania:


For more information:




  1. WHO Report: Investing in mental health – 2004
  2. Anderson Gerard F. et al. Expanding priorities – confronting chronic disease in countries with low income, New England Journal of Medicines, January 18, 2007, 356:209-211.

© Sanofi 2004-2017 - All rights reserved - Update: November 28, 2016

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