Depression is among the 10 leading causes of disability-adjusted life years (DALY's) lost globally and regionally. It is projected to be among the top three causes of DALY's lost by 2030. Depression is characterized by low energy, sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep/appetite and poor concentration. Depression is one of the important risk factors for suicide, particularly affecting adolescents and women during reproductive age. Persons suffering from chronic conditions, including noncommunicable diseases and disabilities, are at a higher risk of developing depression compared to the general population and are also likely to have poorer outcomes for their primary conditions.
In light of these findings depression is one of the priority conditions identified for inclusion in the package of mental health services for integration in general health care in the regional strategy for mental health and the mental health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) initiative of WHO.