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Astellas Global Health Foundation and AMPATH Announce a Three-Year $1.35 Million Grant to Aid Mental Health Programming in Western Kenya
- New Funding will Address Disparities in Mental Health Diagnosis and Treatment for 400,000 People in Need -

NORTHBROOK, Ill. and INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Astellas Global Health Foundation ("Foundation") and the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH), under the direction of the Indiana University Center for Global Health, announced today that the Foundation has awarded a $1.35 million grant over three years to AMPATH to provide 400,000 people with access to mental health programming in western Kenya. AMPATH will integrate mental health services into AMPATH's chronic disease system in public health facilities and broaden population engagement through a mental health awareness campaign. Additionally, AMPATH will provide group transitional housing and care for patients with severe mental health disorders.

Astellas Global Health Foundation logo (PRNewsfoto/Astellas Pharma Inc.)

"The Astellas Global Health Foundation funding will help AMPATH to meaningfully expand our mental health programming, as we are committed to improving access to and quality of mental health care, reducing treatment gaps and empowering patients in western Kenya," said Edith Kwobah, MBChB, MMED, consultant psychiatrist and head of mental health at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kenya and the Kenyan medical leader of the initiative.

"This grant will provide training for community health volunteers to screen for mental health disorders and refer members of the Kenyan community to appropriate care facilities to improve health outcomes for these patients," added Matthew Turissini, M.D., assistant professor of clinical medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine.

Indiana University, which leads the consortium of North American academic health centers within the AMPATH partnership, will serve as the administrator for the grant.

According to the World Health Organization, 75 percent of people affected by mental health disorders in low-income countries do not have access to the treatment they need.1 This is partially due to funding in many of these countries being prioritized to address infectious diseases2 and the significant stigma of mental illness.3 The grant from the Astellas Global Health Foundation will help AMPATH address this treatment gap in western Kenya.

"Access to mental health care is a worldwide issue with a particularly significant lack of proper diagnosis and treatment among low- and middle-income populations," said Moyra Knight, president of the Astellas Global Health Foundation. "The important work AMPATH is doing in western Kenya improves the diagnosis and sustains treatment of mental illness for communities in critical need."

For the Astellas Global Health Foundation, formed in November 2018, this investment is the first focused on mental health, which is one of the Foundation's key focus areas in improving access to health in low- and middle-income countries where Astellas, a company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world, does not have a business presence. Additional priorities for Foundation funding are creating community resilience and providing grants for disaster support.

About The Astellas Global Health Foundation
The Astellas Global Health Foundation is a tax-exempt, non-profit corporation that awards grants to support charitable purposes with a focus on improving access to health in underserved global communities, building resilient communities and providing disaster support in order to make a sustainable impact on the health of people around the world, working toward "One World, A Healthier Tomorrow." To learn more about Astellas Global Health Foundation please visit www.astellasglobalhealthfoundation.org.

About AMPATH
The Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH) is a partnership among Moi University, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, North American universities led by Indiana University, and the Kenyan Government. Working with the Kenyan Ministry of Health, AMPATH created one of Africa's largest, most comprehensive and effective HIV/AIDS management and treatment models. AMPATH has transitioned its successful HIV approach into a comprehensive primary health care system, now serving a population of 8 million people in western Kenya. In addition to providing direct patient care, AMPATH trains health care leaders in North America and sub-Saharan Africa, provides supportive services to help communities sustain their own success, and conducts research. To learn more about AMPATH, visit ampathkenya.org.

  1. WHO | WHO Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) [Internet]. WHO. [cited 2015 Jan 26]. Available from: http://www.who.int/mental_health/mhgap/en/  
  2. Anderson GF, Chu E. Expanding Priorities — Confronting Chronic Disease in Countries with Low Income. N Engl J Med. 2007 Jan 18;356(3):209–11.
  3. Mantovani N, Pizzolati M, Edge D. Exploring the relationship between stigma and help‐seeking for mental illness in African‐descended faith communities in the UK. Health Expect Int J Public Particip Health Care Health Policy. 2017 Jun;20(3):373–84.

 

SOURCE Astellas

For further information: Astellas Global Health Foundation: Angelique Lewis, 224-205-5780, Angelique.lewis@astellas.com; AMPATH: Indiana University/AMPATH: Matthew Turissini, +254 795 946 289, mturissi@iu.edu, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital/AMPATH: Edith Kwobah, eckamaru@gmail.com