New Delhi, April 7 (IANS) President Pranab Mukhrjee on Friday said telemedicine can effectively bridge the gap caused due to severe shortage of mental health professionals in India.

“There is a severe shortage of mental health professionals in India and this service gap can be bridged effectively by telemedicine,” said Mukherjee at the inauguration of the first NIMCARE World Health Day Summit here.

NIMCARE is an NGO working for under privileged by providing them the highest quality of healthcare to every member of the society, educate healthcare professionals in the best available techniques in the world of healthcare.

The event witnessed launch of launch of eCAP & SOL’s — two telepsychiatry applications for the rural and urban population in need of mental health consultation.

Appreciating the efforts, Mukherjee urged all to strive to make even greater progress in the efforts to create awareness about depression and focus on further strengthening our health care delivery systems.

Globally, 322 million people were estimated to be suffering from depression in 2015, equivalent to 4.3 per cent of the world’s population.

Depression is ranked by WHO as the single largest contributor to global morbidity and the estimated number of people living with depression increased by 18.4 per cent between 2005 and 2015.

The situation in India is more grave with over 20 million Indians suffering from depression.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.