75% of those affected with mental health disorders in low-income countries do not have access to the treatment they need. In Kenya, too frequently mental illness is diagnosed as cerebral malaria or witchcraft by health care providers and lay people alike. Further, there are fewer than 100 psychiatrists for the 40 million Kenyans. This project aims to help improve access to quality mental health care by providing training opportunities for Kenyan registrars (equivalent of US medical residents).
Mental health disorders are common in all regions of the world, and affect every community and age group across all income countries. However, up to 75% of those affected in many low-income countries do not have access to the treatment they need. In Kenya, mental health is a severely neglected disease, with less than1% of the budget going toward improvements in diagnosis and treatment. Further, there is a critical shortage of trained mental health professionals for the Kenyan population.
A key component to improving access to mental health care is to increase the number of trained Kenyan mental health care professionals. This project aims to provide funding for Kenyan registrars (equivalent to US medical resident) to participate in an external training rotation at a US academic institution through the AMPATH program.
Mental health, like physical health, is a basic human need that is not always an option for many living in Kenya. By providing more Kenyans with specialty mental health care training, patients will be accurately diagnosed and administered the appropriate treatment. Improving access to mental health care, we will enhance the health and well-being of those affected with the disease which, in turn, will help empower them to live healthy, more productive lives.