Partnerships for Mental Health Development in Sub-Saharan Africa (PaM-D): Management of Psychosis in Kenya and the role of alternative Medical practitioners: A participatory approach
PDF version

This study is a component of the collaborative hub for international research on Mental Health- named PaM-D awarded an NIH grant under RFA-MHA-12-110 under Prof Oyo Gureje of Ibadan. 

UON is is one of the collaborating sites with Prof C. Othieno as site leader.

Below is a summary of the Nairobi site project

The mental health situation in Africa is complex and is characterised by low recognition of mental health conditions and under-treatment of those conditions partly due to lack of skilled personnel. A substantial proportion of those with mental illnesses probably go to  alternative medicine practitioners for treatment. Few studies have documented the role that alternative medicine plays in the treatment of mental disorders in Kenya. In this study we aim to explore the perceptions of traditional healers (TH), health workers (HW) and other stakeholders towards mental illness in general and psychosis in particular. We will use participatory action and research methods to elicit the information and explore the feelings  of the TH and HW towards collaboration in treating people with mental disorders.

 

A group of 30 stakeholders consisting of health workers, social workers, community leaders from Kajiado and Nairobi Counties, traditional healers including faith healers and relatives of people with mental health disorders will be brought together in a workshop to discuss ways in which TH can contribute to the treatment of mental health disorders within the local setting. At the initial meeting we hope to clearly define the types of healers found in the communities included in the study. After that we shall map out the locations and types of THs. We shall engage a group of 10 THs in focus group discussion to find out their views concerning mental health and what they think about collaborating with Western trained doctors.  Similarly we shall hold a focus group discussion with 10 health workers from the community to determine their views on the management of psychosis and collaboration with THs. The discussions will be recorded by audiotape and later transcribed and analysed for common themes.