Kenya Rolls Out Study On Early Detection Of Psychosis

Kenya has rolled out a study to interrogate people at risk of developing psychosis and unveiled an advanced technology to pick out brain activity indicative of the condition, a scientist has said.

“We have seen a lot of people on our streets who have Schizophrenia and our leading mental health institution -Mathari Hospital in Nairobi is recording high numbers of people with psychosis,” said David Ndetei, the founding director of Nairobi-based Africa Mental Health Research and Training Foundation (AMHRTF), during the launch in Nairobi. He stated that the study is essential because Schizophrenia is a debilitating condition that becomes hard to treat once it takes a chronic form. The study will screen at least 12,000 people aged 17-30 in urban and peri-urban areas to spotlight risk factors associated with psychosis and subsequently inform preventive interventions.

The project has received funding to the tune of Ksh. 370 million shillings (about 3 million U.S. dollars) with the results expected to be released in two years. Psychosis is a state of mind where a person has lost perception of reality and begins to hear voices that are not in existence and believe in things that are not true, according to Daniel Mamah, the principal researcher for the study. “Schizophrenia is a form of psychosis. Some of the known causes of psychosis include genetics and drug-induced psychosis such as the use of marijuana. The study will help us learn more associated risk factors,” Mamah said.

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