Grant underpins mental health care project in Africa and Asia

26 November 2012

The Alan J Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health at UCT is part of a large international consortium, recently awarded a grant of 5,798,000 Euro for the Emerging Mental Health Systems in Low and Middle-Income countries (EMERALD) project.

This will examine health systems for mental health care in six low- and middle-income countries over the next five years.

The consortium, which includes Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda, is being led by Professor Graham Thornicroft of the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, together with partner institutions in each country, the University of Madrid, and the World Health Organisation.

The UCT co-investigator, Associate Professor Crick Lund, said: "This is an exciting new development that builds on our existing international networks of research and policy partnerships in Africa and south Asia."

They will be developing tools to assess the health system requirements for scaling up core packages of care for mental health in low- and middle-income countries. These include the costs, financing mechanisms, governance structures and information systems needed to provide care, particularly for poor and vulnerable communities in the six countries.

The grant will help build capacity to conduct and communicate research of this nature in these countries. The Centre for Public Mental Health, based in the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, is now conducting research in collaboration with the Ministries of Health and NGOs in eight low-and middle-income countries in Africa and south Asia.

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