Lancet Psychiatry: Leadership and management training for African psychiatrists in the era of task-sharing

16 October, 2020

Below are the citation and extracts of a new Comment in The Lancet Psychiatry.

CITATION: Comment| volume 7, issue 11, p927-929, november 01, 2020

Leadership and management training for African psychiatrists in the era of task-sharing

Chido Rwafa-Madzvamutse et al.

Published:January 20, 2020 DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(19)30529-2

Psychiatrists in many regions of Africa might not be receiving appropriate training for their context. Given the large burden of mental illness in Africa and the shortage of specialists, psychiatrists in this region often have to train and supervise non-specialist mental health workers, and they frequently take on administrative and advocacy roles, for which many receive minimal training. To respond to the demands of these changing roles, specialist psychiatric education needs to be revised to include leadership and advocacy training... We argue that leadership training for psychiatrists in Africa is imperative and urgent...

Owing to the shortage of specialists, many African countries have introduced task-sharing programmes to increase patient access to basic mental health services outside of specialist institutions.1 Task-sharing models often involve a stepped-care approach, in which non-specialist workers, such as community health workers, non-specialist nurses, and general practitioners, manage patients with mental health disorders and refer complex cases to higher levels of care, all with training and supervision from specialists.

Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages in collaboration with WHO. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org