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Scaling up mental healthcare in the Republic of Niger: priorities for and barriers to service improvement

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Alison Hwong
Affiliation:
Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA, email Alison_Hwong@hms.harvard.edu
Djibo Maiga Douma
Affiliation:
National Programme in Mental Health, Ministry of Public Health, Niger Faculty of Health Sciences, Abdou Moumouni University, Niamey, Niger
Soumana Zamo
Affiliation:
CBM Niger Country Coordination Office, Niamey, Niger
Julian Eaton
Affiliation:
CBM West Africa Regional Office, Lomé, Togo
Corresponding
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Abstract

As part of a pilot programme to scale up community mental health services, local health centre directors, community health workers and key informants were interviewed in two neighbouring political districts of Niger. Major priorities for improving services included training staff on the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness, collaborating with traditional healers, educating the community about the origins of psychiatric illness and building infrastructure for medication delivery. Barriers to care included long distances for travel to the nearest hospital and lack of funding for home-based visits by health workers. This study was the first step in Niger's plan to implement the World Health Organization's Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) at a national level.

Type
Research papers
Creative Commons
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Copyright
Copyright © Royal College of Psychiatrists 2015

References

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