Program Profile
Last updated from Global Health Progress: 08 Jan 2021

Astellas Global Health Foundation AMPATH

The Astellas Global Health Foundation (AGHF) 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.”

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Through support provided through the AGHF grant, AMPATH is integrating mental health services into its existing chronic disease system focused on hypertension and diabetes care within public health facilities in western Kenya. First, as part of finding patients with mental health disease, AMPATH will engage the community with a mental health education/awareness campaign including developing pamphlets on mental health disease, presentations in schools and at community gatherings, and one day workshops with key community leaders including religious leaders, teachers, county leadership, chiefs, and village elders. Second, AMPATH will integrate mental health services into its community-based Bridging Income Generation through Provision of Incentives for Care (BIGPIC) groups. Third, AMPATH will continue to increase the number of disease-specific support groups. Peer support groups have been an effective service delivery model for patients suffering from mental health diseases in high resource settings, and AMPATH’s alcohol abuse groups have been very successful in western Kenya. Finally, AMPATH will further innovate on its success with groups by providing group transitional housing and care for patients with severe mental health disorders.

Addressing the housing needs for mentally ill persons is key for rehabilitation and must be considered in the long-term management of these patients. Group homes provide patients a safe and supportive environment that provides them the opportunity to make and maintain supportive social relationships. For people with schizophrenia struggling with symptoms such as apathy, lack of energy, and extreme withdrawal, group homes empower them with a purpose as they perform daily tasks. Finally, this strategy will decongest the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) allowing improved access for those patients most in need. Many of the patients admitted are stable but have no safe place for re-integration into society.  With this proposal, AMPATH plans to develop a group home and rehabilitation center that will allow patients to receive psychological care, life skills coaching, structured living, and linkage to jobs and training in the community. These programs will improve outcomes for patients with mental health disorders, decrease hospitalizations, and increase access to care at the referral hospital for those with acute needs.

With three years of funding from the AGHF, AMPATH will scale-up and integrate its novel approaches to mental health into the ongoing population health activities of AMPATH. This approach would enable AMPATH to significantly augment ongoing care for chronic diseases which is compromised by comorbid mental health disorders while also ensure sustainability beyond the three years of funding provided by the AGHF.