This episode features Emerson Rogers, the NTD case management lead in the Ministry of Health Liberia and Eric Whey, the mental health and psychosocial coordinator for Grand Bassa County Health Team, Liberia. Together they discuss how Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) and mental health services are being integrated at the primary health care level and the importance of advocating for sustained services for tackling mental health more generally. Tosin Adekeye, our co-host for this series discusses the cultural, logistical and community aspects that are being considered and the lessons that could be applied in other similar contexts.
Dr. Oluwatosin Adekeye
Assistant Director of Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychiatry Ahmadu Bello University Hospital Zaria Kaduna
A social scientist with varied experience in both clinical and research aspects of health among communities in Northern Nigeria. As a Clinical Psychologist, his work has been both on mental and behavioral disorders and the effects of chronic disease on the well-being of patients and caregivers. As a Social Scientist, he just concluded a study that documented the well-being of people with stigmatizing skin diseases and established a care and support group within the community. More recently he is working on developing a well-being tool for parents and children with disability.
Twitter: @TosinOluw, @Sightsavers
Eric T. Weah
Mental Health and Psychosocial support pillar lead for EBOLA and the COVID 19 RESPONSE, lecturer at the Grand Bassa Community College.
The mental health department (MHD) is part of the community health department and works with programs to consider a more holistic biopsychosocial approach. This approach seeks to look at the psychological impact that a condition will have on an individual, the family, the community and society at large. It also provides services for the vulnerable groups such as people living with disability, those in prison and at-risk youth. The mental health department also developed the user group and collaborative approach with faith based organisation, traditional healers and religious leaders to help in improve mental health care. The MHD also works with the Community Health Focal persons to ensure community health workers identify, follow up and refer cases to service delivery point for management.
National Coordinator for Case Management of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)
Management Committee member- REDRESS
Ministry of Health, Liberia
Mr Emerson Rogers has a key role in the Management Committee of REDRESS providing ongoing guidance and support as the National Coordinator for Case Management NTDs in Liberia.
He manages the coordination of all Case Management, project planning, implementation, supervision, research, and timely reporting of progress. Enforcing strategies to ensure adherence to timely interventions for NTDs. Emerson has 14 years’ experience working as a Ministry of Health clinician in Liberia in several hospitals. He served as Clinical Coordinator at the National Ebola Treatment Unit and served as Master Trainer Team Lead for Keep Safe Keep Serving. Emerson served as National Program Director for the Men’s Health Screening Program- MOH between 2015-2017. He worked alongside WHO and CDC UK and was responsible for conducting Real Time PCR testing of the semen of Ebola survivors to determine it contained fragments of the virus and therefore help to get a better understanding of the persistence of the virus in the semen of male survivors.