New Johnson & Johnson grant aims to expand innovative MESH Mental Health model to additional districts

PIH/IMB mentorship model (MESH) is part of the organization’s effort to improve access to quality mental health care to those who need it. It is effective in rural low-income settings because it is focused on decentralizing mental health services by strengthening the skills of frontline health workers. It is part of a concentrated plan to integrate mental health into the primary health care package and decentralize care to community levels in order to make it accessible to rural populations. The model integrates mental health care into a community-based health care setting, increasing the number of trained mental health care workers and facilitating patient access to quality care within the communities where they live. The model has seen the treatment of severe mental illness include home care and accompaniment to ensure that the patients treated receive whole treatment as to become fully healed.

The initiative has been implemented with great success in 19 health centers and 1 district hospital in Burera district located in northern Rwanda. Last year interventions based on this model delivered treatment and care to over 1800 patients across the health centers and the District hospital. The results of these interventions have been overwhelming, with patients marked off as useless in the community able to be rehabilitated and brought back into society as normal functioning citizens of the community.

Based on this experience and lessons learned, PIH/IMB is partnering with Johnson & Johnson Global Public Health and the Government of Rwanda, by means of a three-year grant. The grant was provided to provide support to IMB’s effort to scale up the MESH model for mental health in two additional districts in Rwanda it operates in, Kayonza and Kirehe.

This partnership with Johnson & Johnson, a global pharmaceutical giant would greatly enhance the community based program to provide mental health care services within communities, bringing critically needed services into the neighborhoods where patients live. The partnership agreement was officially signed on August 8, 2018.

“This is an exciting opportunity to have community based mental health care expand to the eastern province as well! Mental Health Care is a human right and I am glad that we are getting this opportunity to provide healthcare using a model that has been proven to work!” Hildegarde Mukasakindi, the Associate Director of Mental Health at PIH/IMB said.

“With over 60 years of experience supporting those impacted by mental illness we are committed to expanding access to mental health care at the grassroots level,” Paul Stoffels, the Johnson& Johnson Managing Director and Chief Scientific Officer, says.

Hon. Minister Dr. Diane Gashumba, Rwanda Biomedical Center representatives, PIH/IMB representatives and Johnson & Johnson reprensentatives after the signatutre of the partnership agreement

Hon. Minister Dr. Diane Gashumba, Rwanda Biomedical Center representatives, PIH/IMB representatives and Johnson & Johnson reprensentatives after the signatutre of the partnership agreement

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