Late Dr Sheila Ndyanabangi Honoured by PRIME Colleagues

28 Sep 2018 - 12:30

Mark JordansDr Sheila Ndyanabangi, Principal Medical Officer in charge of Mental Health and Substance Abuse in the Uganda Ministry of Health and PRIME Uganda partner has passed away after a losing her battle with cancer.

Dr Ndyanabangi's efforts to improve the mental health and mental healthcare in Uganda has been hailed from around the world, and her PRIME colleagues also paid her tribute.

"Sheila was a great champion for mental health in Uganda and across the African continent. It was a privilege to work with her, from the days of the WHO Mental Health Policy and Service Guidance Package in the early 2000s, to the Mental Health and Poverty Project to PRIME. She made a huge contribution to mental health policy and service development in Uganda and beyond. And her warm generous personality and passion for mental health will be sorely missed," said PRIME CEO, Prof Crick Lund.

Prof Inge Petersen from PRIME South Africa echoed Prof Lund's sentiments: "This is a great loss for Uganda and the African mental health community. She was a role model for other Ministry of Health officials and Uganda was incredibly fortunate to have such a forceful mental health advocate to work with in the Ministry of Health."

Professor Sir Graham Thornicroft, a PRIME partner based at the Centre for Global Mental Health at King's College London, shared his memory of meeting Dr Ndyanabangi: "I recall meeting her in her ministerial office one time when she told me with great grace and good humour how huge her responsibilities were and how much persistence and resilience she needed to do her work. She will be long remembered and very much missed."

Prof Vikram Patel, PRIME Research Director and Professor of Global health and Social Medicine at Harvard University confirmed these sentiments: "My deepest condolences to the family and friends of this formidable woman, whose leadership and warmth was unparalleled. I will miss her indomitable spirit and gracious smile always."

The PRIME team wishes to convey our sincerest condolences to her family, friends and our Ugandan colleagues who have also lost a friend and comrade in the fight to close the mental healthcare gap.