OVERVIEW OF THE 2009 JOINT IOM AND UNAS WORKSHOP

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As background, Edward Kirumira, deputy principal of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Makerere University, provided an overview of the 2009 workshop, Mental, Neurological, and Substance Use Disorders in Sub-Saharan Africa: Reducing the Treatment Gap, Improving Quality of Care (IOM, 2009) (see Box 3). It was noted at the 2009 workshop that MNS disorders produce a very substantial disease burden in the developing world, but much of the focus has been on infectious diseases (e.g., HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis). Many discussions at the 2009 workshop emphasized the need for sustainable and feasible strategies for lasting change, multidisciplinary collaborations, research to guide evidence-based policies and practices, and engagement of the public and policymakers through advocacy and communication. Among the opportunities discussed for decreasing the treatment gap was increasing the number of trained professionals with expertise in MNS disorders. The 2012 workshop was designed to expand the discussion further.