Dr. Etheldreda Nakimuli-Mpungu recieves Mental Health Science Award

Dr. Etheldreda Nakimuli-Mpungu, a clinical scientist at Makerere University (Uganda), will be developing a novel means of making mental health treatment more accessible to people living with HIV in rural northern Uganda.

Poor access to treatments are a huge barrier to recovery for many people living with depression. These are common problems in the UK and across the developed world. In Low- and Middle- Income Countries with limited healthcare provision, the problem of accessing mental health treatment is even worse. In post-conflict northern Uganda, many living with depression have limited access to first line treatment, particularly in rural areas.

Dr. Nakimuli-Mpungu is developing a new approach to deliver treatment to people living with both depression and HIV in northern Uganda, and investigate whether or not it is effective. In her previous work, Dr. Nakimuli-Mpungu developed a group psychotherapy programme for people with depression and her results suggested it is effective in managing depression for people with HIV and depression. Her funding from MQ will build on this work by training lay health workers that deliver HIV treatments in rural northern Uganda to also recognise and deliver group-psychotherapy for depression. This will allow many more people access to therapies that would not usually be available to them. The project will refine the training the lay health workers need in order to deliver the group psychotherapy programme to devise their curriculum and test the efficacy of the therapy.

Dr. Nakimuli-MpunguÔÇÖs project utilises current healthcare systems to address a great need, bringing interventions to the doorstep of those who need it. The project enables people to access to depression therapies that would otherwise be unreachable. This work will lay the foundations for future work in developing innovative solutions for improving ccessibility to treatments and therapies.
A detailed release is attached