Improving Mental Health Education and Research capacity in Zimbabwe (IMHERZ)

Funder: National Institutes of Health

Total budget: $850,797

Time period: 1 September 2010 – 31 August 2015

Principal Investigator: Prof James Hakim

The IMHERZ consortium is a partnership of faculty at the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences (UZ-CHS) with faculty from Harvard University, University of Cape Town, Institute of Psychiatry (London), University of Bristol, University College London, who have a long history of international mental health and community-based research and capacity building expertise.

IMHERZ aims are to:

  1. Increase mental health expertise and retention of UZ-CHS psychiatry faculty
  2. Strengthen the implementation and sustainability of undergraduate mental health education
  3. Strengthen mental health research capacity at UZ-CHS across disciplines, and
  4. Monitor the impact of IMHERZ on mental health education, research and practice at UZ-CHS.

The consortium will make use of innovative approaches including establishing IMHERZ Mentored Training Fellowships for post-graduates; provision of a competency-based curriculum in mental health, including team-based learning, for undergraduates; mentored Research Fellowships, and up to date methods of educational evaluation. Guiding principles of IMHERZ include strengthening of south-south collaboration, mentoring and teaching strongly supported by Universities in the US (Harvard) and the UK (Institute of Psychiatry, University of Bristol and University College London), and shifting the role of the IMHERZ team from implementation to advisory over the duration of the grant, leaving a sustainable and relevant innovative medical education curriculum with a strong emphasis on community-based research and interventions coupled with effective long-term initiatives to improve retention of graduates and faculty in psychiatry.

The role of the CPMH in IMHERZ is to coordinate all the IMHERZ activities at or through UCT. These activities aim to promote ongoing the south – south collaboration. Prof Lund coordinates the UCT visiting lecturers program, coordinates the clinical and research attachments to UCT and develops and delivers training courses both inHarare and Cape Town for the program. He also coordinates the co-mentoring program between UCT faculty and faculty in Zimbabwe.