Implementing the manas trial in uganda (MAN U)

We will implement the MANAS trial in a small-scale pilot in Uganda. We will collaborate with Ndejje Health Center IV, train and employ three community health workers with the supervision and quality assurance of a mental health specialist. The MANAS trial was a striking example of community led healthcare with several distinguishing impacts.

  1. 70% of afflicted patients recovered within 6 months
  2. 36% reduction in suicide attempts/plans over 12 months
  3. 7.3 additional days free of depression and/or anxiety over 12 months

To say that we were inspired is an understatement. 


August - November 2017

We will spend three months learning alongside the community to better understand needs and cultural sensitivities. We identify and deepen relationships, seek consult and advising on project plans, amend materials, and lock down logistics. We will confirm key collaborators and submit our study proposal to local and national Institutional Review Boards for ethical approval.

November 2017

We will facilitate a 2.5 week-long training intensive to equip our community health workers with the proper knowledge, competencies, and skills to effectively treat individuals with common mental disorders. We will then dive into a two week screening and diagnosis to identify patients struggling with depression and anxiety.

December 2017 - July 2018

We will implement a community health worker led intervention at Ndejje Health Center IV in Ndejje, Uganda to improve the outcomes of people with common mental disorders. Within the collaborative stepped-care intervention, community health workers will offer case management and all non-drug psychosocial treatments alongside the aid and support of primary care physicians and a mental health specialist. Specifically, the primary care physicians will administer antidepressant drug therapy and encourage patients to see the community health workers, while the mental health specialist will offer supervision and quality assurance. Stepped care will include psychoeducation, antidepressant therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, and if necessary, referral to a mental health specialist.

July - September 2018

We will complete quantitative and qualitative assessments and disseminate the information.

Our Dream

First and foremost, our goal is to ensure that our findings make a direct impact on primary health care policy in Uganda. Our hope is to scale this model globally, and we are hedging our bets that our pilot program in Uganda will provide us the learning, connections, and resources to bring it to the masses.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. This is our first step.