PRIME South Africa reaches across borders

20 Oct 2016 - 12:00

The PRIME South Africa team has achieved a milestone for task sharing of psychosocial interventions beyond the borders of South Africa.

This task-sharing success was a collaborative effeort between an FHI 360 research team, led by Dr Joy Baumgartner from Duke University, and the South Africa team, led by Principal Investigator and Director at the Centre for Rural Health based at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Prof Inge Petersen.

From 12-15 September this year PRIME South Africa’s site coordinator Ònè Selohilwe conducted a 4-day training workshop for a group of healthcare workers in Kabwe, Zambia, to integrate mental health as part of non-communicable disease care into the HIV-care platform in Zambia. Based on formative interviews in Zambia, PRIME South Africa assisted with the adaptation of resource materials to the local socio-cultural context.

The training was modelled on the PRIME South Africa’s psychosocial training for task sharing of depression counselling. The counselling intervention is informed by adult learning theories and experiential learning, as well as the psychosocial intervention for depression for chronic care patients in primary care settings outlined in the country team’s mental health care plan. PRIME South Africa has also committed to provide technical support for the implementation of this intervention.

This marks a significant step in collaboration with countries outside the PRIME project. This initiative exemplifies a spirit of cooperation and collaboration in research and in academia to promote evidence based best practices in low- and middle-income countries.

FHI 360 is part of the larger Zambia Prevention, Care and Treatment Partnership II (ZPCTII) a five-year (2009 to 2014) task order with USAID through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). ZPCT II works with the Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health (MCDMCH), the provincial medical offices (PMOs), and district medical offices (DMOs) to strengthen and expand HIV/AIDS prevention, clinical care and treatment services in six of the 10 selected provinces.