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World Psychiatry. 2010 Jun;9(2):118-20.

Integration of mental health into primary care in Kenya.

Author information

1
WHO Collaborating Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College, London, UK.

Abstract

Integration of mental health into primary care is essential in Kenya, where there are only 75 psychiatrists for 38 million population, of whom 21 are in the universities and 28 in private practice. A partnership between the Ministry of Health, the Kenya Psychiatric Association and the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London was funded by Nuffield Foundation to train 3,000 of the 5,000 primary health care staff in the public health system across Kenya, using a sustainable general health system approach. The content of training was closely aligned to the generic tasks of the health workers. The training delivery was integrated into the normal national training delivery system, and accompanied by capacity building courses for district and provincial level staff to encourage the inclusion of mental health in the district and provincial annual operational plans, and to promote the coordination and supervision of mental health services in primary care by district psychiatric nurses and district public health nurses. The project trained 41 trainers, who have so far trained 1671 primary care staff, achieving a mean change in knowledge score of 42% to 77%. Qualitative observations of subsequent clinical practice have demonstrated improvements in assessment, diagnosis, management, record keeping, medicine supply, intersectoral liaison and public education. Around 200 supervisors (psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses and district public health nurses) have also been trained. The project experience may be useful for other countries also wishing to conduct similar sustainable training and supervision programmes.

KEYWORDS:

Kenya; mental health; primary care; supervision; training

PMID:
20671901
PMCID:
PMC2911092

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