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Dphil candidate in psychiatry

Dphil candidate in psychiatry

Mary Bitta

Dphil candidate

I am interested in the epidemiology and treatment of mental disorders in sub-Saharan Africa. My research has been around understanding the burden and treatment of common mental disorders in people from the poorest regions of the world, particularly in Africa. I have described the state of mental health systems in rural Kenya and examined severe outcomes of mental disorders such as suicide. Currently I am contextualizing the mental Health Gap Action Program-Intervention Guidelines (mhGAP-IG) in rural Kenya, for use in identifying and managing common mental disorders. I am also interested in the diagnosis, management, and comorbidities of common mental disorders.

My DPhil project aims to contextualize and scale-up mhGAP-IG in Kenya, describe the comorbidities of common mental disorders presenting to hospitals in rural Kenya and examine the factors influencing the response to antipsychotic drug therapy. I will be combining genomic, drug levels and phenotypic data to understand the presentation of common mental disorders in this population.My DPhil studies will be supervised by Professor Charles Newton, Professor Belinda Lennox and Dr Symon Kariuki.