Above: Dr. Emily Peca, University Research Co. LLC; Molly Naisanga, Infectious Diseases Institute; Dr. Andrew Silumesii, East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community; Dr. Victoria Ngo, City University of New York; and Dr. Dilys Walker, University of California San Francisco
According to the World Health Organization, worldwide about 10% of pregnant women and 13% of women who have just given birth experience a mental disorder, primarily depression. In developing countries this is even higher (15.6% during pregnancy and 19.8% after child birth).
During the 2023 International Maternal Newborn Health Conference (IMNHC) in Cape Town, South Africa, the session “Advancing Evidence to Practice for Maternal Mental Health: Lessons learned from the Africa region” was hosted by ISC partners the Infectious Diseases Institute, the East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC), University of California San Francisco, and the City University of New York. It was moderated by Dr. Emily Peca, University Research Co. LLC.
The discussion identified gaps and practical opportunities to advance the intersection of maternal health and mental health evidence to policy efforts through highlighting innovative interventions from Ethiopia and Uganda and provider mental health evidence from Malawi. The discussion explored implications for service delivery and subregional policy opportunities.