UCL Institute for Global Prosperity


IGP part of new project awarded £3.8 million exploring maternal mental health in Kenya and Lebanon

22 May 2020

IGP researchers are co-investigators on a new project exploring post-natal depression and early childhood development in Kenya and Lebanon

Beirut and Nairobi

Professor Henrietta L. Moore and Hannah Sender from the Institute for Global Prosperity are part of an international collaboration that has been awarded £3.8 million from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to fund a new study in Lebanon and Kenya looking at the treatment of post-natal depression, child development and the mother-child relationship.

The team is led by Professor Peter Fonagy (UCL Psychology and Language Science), and is a collaboration between the UCL Psychology and Language Sciences, UCL Institute for Global Prosperity, Bangor University, Columbia University, ABAAD and the University of Saint Joseph in Lebanon and the University of Nairobi and HealthStrat in Kenya.

The team has been awarded £3.8 million from the NIHR's Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation (RIGHT) programme funding. The team explore the effectiveness of interventions to treat post-natal depression in low- and middle-income countries and test whether a WHO-recommended psychological therapy modified to match local priorities, delivered sustainably within existing healthcare systems, can lead to improvements in key measures of early child development alongside improvements in maternal mental health.

The IGP is supporting the research by engaging local community members as citizen social scientists and with the development of a Prosperity Index model, focusing on maternal mental health. Citizen social scientists will be trained and paid members of the research team, who will co-design and carry out qualitative research about the relationship between maternal mental health and other social, economic and environmental factors.

This will inform a Prosperity Index model for the local research sites in Lebanon and Kenya, which situates maternal mental health in relation to other factors that matter to new mothers. These models will be used to inform the adaptation of the WHO-recommended psychological therapy.

Read more about the project: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/2020/may/ps38m-funds-international-psychotherapy-trial-new-mothers

Image: Beirut (Lebanon) and Nairobi (Kenya). Sources: Wusel007 on Wikimedia Commons and DEMOSH on Flickr