mhGAP implementation in Uganda a great success
Since its launch in 2008 a number of countries have undertaken to implement the WHO mental health Gap (mhGAP) Action Programme.
Uganda is among the few African countries where this programme has been rolled out. Supported by PRIME and WHO, the Uganda Ministry of Health managed to secure funding from World Vision Australia for implementing a 3-year mhGAP implementation project.
The programme focused on core interventions aimed at bridging the mental health treatment gap and was implemented in three districts. These included a post-conflict district in northern Uganda (Kitgum) with weak support and resources for mental health service delivery, a relatively well-resourced district in eastern Uganda (Jinja) with a regional referral hospital with a mental health unit and the PRIME implementation district (Kamuli) which is rural based and under resourced.
Over the implementation period (the past three years), various interventions have been conducted. These include increasing capacity for provision of mental health care on all levels as well as addressing service demand and service utilization.
In the Kamuli district in particular, the mhGAP programme has supported the implementation of the district mental health care plan developed by PRIME. The end of project evaluation was conducted by a private consultancy firm and highlighted the project’s achievements as well as a number of challenges to address during the planned gradual scale up/roll out to other districts.