Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), Tanzania SMhINT Year 2 Program Report
Year 2 was a kick off year for most of the activities in Tanzania. We began by involving stakeholders who will work with us to support implementation of the project. These includes policy makers in the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, the Elderly and Children (MOHCDGEC), and health managers from two municipal councils for the Dar es salaam and Mbeya Regions. During this time, we were able successfully engage a relevant focal person at the Ministry, the Head of the NCD Department Dr. Sarah Maongezi (and also working with Dr. Omari Ubuguyu in the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Section); as well as the Regional Medical Officer for Dar es Salaam, Dr. Grace Magembe to be members of the SMhINT Special Advisory Committee. The latter is recently promoted and is current Director of Hospital Services in the MOHCDGEC
Toward the end of Year 1, we developed criteria for candidate selection and a request for concept notes (CN) was advertised on the MUHAS website. The following were required criteria for applicants:
- Applicants should have at least a bachelor’s degree in any health-related field with relevance to mental health care provision; with basic epidemiology and biostatistics knowledge addressed in training.
- Applicants should be working in an academic research position or as a heath care provider (primary, secondary and tertiary care levels), health manager, planner or policy maker.
- Applicant should show evidence from employers of sufficient protected time to commit to research and training activities.
- Applicant should be working in the public health sector in Dar es salaam or Mbeya region
Any of the following areas of focus were requested in applicant concept notes:
- Any aspect of a situational analyses that would provide data to inform a district or regional mental health plan
- Any research activity that has potential to provide empirical evidence to inform mental health services integration on primary health care services platforms, or any research that includes strategies for implementing mental health care services provision for common mental disorders (depression, anxiety and substance use disorders) in HIV prevention (PMTCT) or treatment (CTC) service platforms.
From 14 responses to the advertisement, seven candidates were recruited as listed and mentors assigned.
SMhINT Annual Meeting
- In September 2018, Health Alliance International hosted the SMhINT Annual Meeting in Beira City, Mozambique. Both Co PI and Project coordinator attended the meeting.
- Curriculum Development
- Between Nov 2018 – February 2019, Tanzania team met to review the WHO TDR Implementation research tool kit and other IS materials with the inputs from the MUHAS, School of Medicine’s (SoM) Department of Psychiatry and the MUHAS School of Public Health and Social Sciences (SPHSS) (Epi and Biostats Department) to come up with short course for applying Implementation science in mental health service delivery research. Additional materials were also obtained from U19 SMhINT collaborators at the University of Kwazulu Natal and University of Washington. Tanzanian trainees involved in the U19 SHARP project as well as a PhD trainee in the Department were at one stage or another co-opted to assist in this process. As the training programme takes shape it will include introductory seminars using Zoom and one face to face training in May, followed by access to a training platform developed by collaborators at the University of Washington. Trainees are also encouraged to apply to attend training sessions organized by U19 PRIME (3 trainees in 2019), U19 SHARP – pending. Seminar sessions are being developed at MUHAS for a short course that will be accredited – IS for Mental Health Care Integration, and will also be an optional course taught by the Masters PH_IS course that is being developed by the SPHSS at MUHAS.
- Introductory face to face training for implementation science and evidence based mental health intervention
- In collaboration with MUHAS SPHSS and Harvard Implementation Science Project, we were able to secure funds to support the upcoming training for face to face 5 days orientation course (Module 1 in May 2019; with 24 participants from Mbeya and Dar es Salaam). Other interested MUHAS faculty will also be invited to participate. Training will be held at MUHAS and facilitated by experts from the MUHAS SPHSS (Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department; and Development Studies Department and MUHAS SoM, the Psychiatry and Mental Health Department.
SMhINT Tanzania consortium managed to accomplish some of the key activities as follow
WHAT DO YOU PLAN TO DO DURING THE NEXT REPORTING PERIOD TO ACCOMPLISH THE GOALS?
- Structured mentoring of trainees to complete their planned IS activities
- Expanding a group of persons with interest in IS for SMhINT through monthly journal clubs and trainee progress feed-back sessions.