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Long-term conditions and mental health in Sub-Saharan Africa: mainstreaming community-based practices.

Supported by the Academy of Medical Sciences Global Challenges Networking Fund.

Lead Investigators:

Professor Cathy Lloyd, The Open University

Professor David Ndetei, African Mental Health Research and Training Foundation (

We have established the first consortium, the Community Intervention Network for Diabetes and Depression (CoIN-DD), to focus systematically on building evidence and community practice to tackle comorbidity between mental illness and diabetes in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Such comorbidity is increasing rapidly and presents a major challenge to SSA health care provision. Community-based interventions appear to be an efficacious response to this problem. However evidence to support this is still weak, especially in SSA. This research builds on our existing collaborations which have begun to examine the scope for inclusive and affordable community practice to tackle comorbid diabetes and depression. Our sustainable network of African and UK researchers will: 

  1. Generate a greater shared understanding of existing research on the interrelationships between mental health and type 2 diabetes and the role of community engagement in SSA in tackling these challenges;
  2. Identify gaps in current research and practice in SSA countries from a range of disciplinary perspectives and experience;
  3. Develop methodologies for combining research and practice to create and evaluate partnerships with communities for problem identification, decision-making and shared actions for prevention, treatment and management of comorbid diabetes and mental health problems;
  4. Support the development and training of early career researchers from SSA;
  5. Create cost-effective networking opportunities for African and UK partners for a long term impact in health research

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