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Charlotte Hajer


The Economy of Mental Health: Inequalities in Access to Care in Morocco

[Image of Morocco's Minister of Health, Houssaine Louardi, during a press conference. Image by Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage/Flickr]

In 2005, Morocco’s Ministry of Health (Ministère de la Santé) carried out its first-ever epidemiological survey of mental illness in the country. As a Bulletin de Santé later reported, the study found that about fifty percent of the population had suffered from at least one minor psychiatric ailment over the course of their lives: … one in two Moroccans presents with at least one significant sign of impaired mental health, regardless of its degree of severity, ...

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Charlotte Hajer holds a PhD in medical anthropology from the University of California, San Diego. Her dissertation, Hysteria on the Borderline: Psychiatry, Cultural Change and Subjective Experience among Women in Morocco, examines how psychiatric practice shapes and is shaped by shifting female gender norms in an evolving Morocco. She has written and presented elsewhere about the history and current status of Moroccan psychiatry, the politics of language in a psychiatric clinic, the embodied experience of Ramadan among female inpatients, and the use of the term hysteria in Moroccan clinics.