BUJUMBURA April 18th (ABP) – The University of Burundi, through its graduate school, will launch on Thursday, April 21, 2022 in Bujumbura, the mental health program. This activity is on the agenda of the month of the graduate school which began on April 7, 2022, the director of the graduate school of the University of Burundi, Professor Juma Shabani, told a check by ABP.
That program, which will be carried out in partnership with Swiss cooperation, will extend over a four–year period and will contribute to the establishment of a university and postgraduate training system in mental health.
While taking gender into account, said Professor Juma, the project proposes, in partnership with the University of Burundi, through the graduate school, to provide Burundi with 24 doctors specialized in psychiatry by the end of the project. It also proposes to facilitate the organization of on-the-job training provided by the Neuropsychiatric Center of Kamenge (CNPK) and the Ministry of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS (MSPLS).
The implementation of that project will also focus on supporting the training of masters in clinical psychology and psychotherapy at the University of Burundi (UB), bachelor and masters in clinical psychology at the Light University of Bujumbura (ULBU) and at the Hope of Africa University (UEA), Bachelor’s degree for the psychiatric nursing sector at the National Institute of Public Health (INSP). Finally, the program proposes to establish in the medium term in Burundi a doctoral training program for psychiatrists and clinical psychologists with the assistance of partner universities with programs in this area. The University of Burundi, through the graduate school, will be responsible for the coordination and operational implementation of that project.
To compensate for the lack of psychiatrists, the Graduate School of the University of Burundi will negotiate and sign a partnership agreement with the Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar in Senegal, the University of Abomey Calavi at Cotonou in Benin to ensure the training of 8 doctors per year leading to the diploma of specialized studies in mental health. The graduate school will manage the scholarships of the selected candidates throughout the duration of their training.
At the same time, Professor Juma Shabani said the graduate school will propose to the Swiss Cooperation to send some doctors for training in English-speaking universities in the region if the original criteria of the Swiss cooperation are met. These include the quality of the training, mastery of the English language (having done General Medicine in English), the affordable cost of the training, and the chances that the graduates will return to work in Burundi after the training, he says.
As a reminder, on March 30, 2022, on the occasion of the world Day of bipolar disorders, the association of psychologists without holidays through its executive director Mr. Alain Joseph Hatungimana, deplored the absence of the specialized training course in mental health in public health programs.