The role of basic needs' NGO in improving mental health care in Tanzania: a case study of Luchingu Project Area (Newala) in Mtwara Region

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Dar es Salaam
The purpose of this study was to explore the contribution of Basic needs Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in improving mental health care and development in Luchingu ward in Newala district. This, study used qualitative approach based on case study design. The sample included 90 respondents from the clusters of primary carers; community home based carers (CHBCs), Newala farmers' association (NEFA) officials, district hospital mental health workers (DHMHWs), and Basic needs officials. The study used descriptive design footed on qualitative research approach and employed purposive sampling. Data were collected using semi structured questionnaires and observations. The findings revealed that, through intervention done by Basic needs NGO, mentally ill people had stabilized, and engaged themselves in productive works-through livelihood projects under self-help groups (SHGs) in the ward. However, some obstacles were also revealed which included: limited mental health care facilities like drugs, grossly inadequate professionals to assist Basic needs in providing mental health care, families were then care providers, but with limited support and skills for care, no support schemes for stabilized mentally ill people from the government through the district council, shortage of drugs caused lack of regular outreach clinics, and limited budget for mental health care as part of the total budget in the Ministry of Health (MoH) and Social Welfare. Recommendations made from this study include the following: Basic needs should establish the prevention model so as to prevent the routes of the problem, the trainings of mental health professionals should be increased and improved, links with other governmental and NGOs should be increased; the stabilized mentally ill should form strong groups so that arrangements could be done to make them access loans through rural SACCOS; other community based organizations (CBOs) and community should support the stabilized mentally people in their livelihood projects; there was a need to establish a scheme in collaboration with National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) so as to improve access of treatment to the mentally ill people through their parents and primary carers, and lastly there should be a policy towards mentally ill people so as to make them participate fully in all socioeconomic activities in the country.
Available in print form, EAF collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, class mark ( THS EAF RA790.7.T34M33 )
Mental health services, Basic needs NGO, Luchingu Project Area, Newala (district), Mtwara region, Tanzania
Mahundu, F.G ( 2008 ) The role of basic needs' NGO in improving mental health care in Tanzania: a case study of Luchingu Project Area (Newala) in Mtwara Region,Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam.