Kenya set to launch new initiative to end human rights abuse in Mental Health

Kenya Mental Health QualityRights WHO

The Ministry of Health (MOH) in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) in Kenya, is set to launch the new QualityRights in Mental Health initiative on Thursday (November 21,2019) at the Kenya International Convention Center (KICC), in Nairobi.

According to the MOH in Kenya, the implementation of the QualityRights in Mental Health initiative will be an important strategy to enable them achieve the Kenya Mental Health policy goal of attaining the highest standard of mental health. It will also be in line with the realization of Kenya vision 2030, the medium –term plan agenda on Universal Health coverage and the country’s commitment to international obligations and goals.

The launch of the initiative, will coincide with the Kenya Mental Conference; an annual conference by the Ministry of Health in partnership with its stakeholders, as a strategic action to positioning mental health as key public health agenda and deliberate on the implementation of mental health policy and strategies.

The 2019 conference is under theme, “Mental health a Priority Public Health and Socioeconomic Agenda”.

Guest of Honor for the event is H.E. Mrs. Margaret Kenyatta, First Lady of the Republic of Kenya. She will be the cabinet secretary for health, Sicily Kariuki and the director of mental health, Dr. Simon Njuguna with other key mental health experts and champions who will drive separate discussions on; mental health financing, Comprehensive Mental Health and policy, Youth and Mental Health, Services transformation and Universal Health Coverage.

Targets for the initiative

To realize the impact of the initiative the MOH Kenya has set the following targets;

– to conduct e-training on the WHO QualityRights in Mental Health to 50,000 users, care givers and other community workers in 47 counties in Kenya.

– to conduct assessment and report on the quality of care and observance of human rights in the national referral hospital, 15 mental health units and 29 mental health outpatients’ clinics in Kenya

– To develop long term strategies on sustainable and effective QualityRights implementation in Kenya.

– To establish and train mixed stakeholders national coordinating committee and assessment committees and

– To monitor and evaluate improvement/transformation of services in the facilities following the QualityRights e-training and assessments.

The initiative, is expected to record significant shift in attitudes and practices among stakeholders, towards promoting holistic and people centered care and services; and on ending practices based on the use of coercive treatment and other violations of human rights across the country.

The QualityRights in Mental Health initiative

The QualityRights in Mental Health, a paramount initiative by the World Health Organization aims to improve the quality of care in mental health and related services and to promote the rights of people with psychosocial, intellectual and cognitive disabilities. Through capacity building, service assessment, civil society engagement and policy reform, this project offers a comprehensive approach to ending coercion and promoting a recovery approach, in order to leave a lasting legacy of respect for human rights.

It has so far been launched in the Philipines, Gujurat, and Ghana, who have been instrumental in the planning of the Kenya QualityRights initiative.