Monday, 30 September 2013

Mental health training in Somaliland - Day 11

Saturday 28th September

Today is spent developing resources for the upcoming medical student teaching. I review OSCE scenarios and MCQ examination questions which have been sent and reviewed by doctor colleagues both abroad and here in Somaliland. It is vital that the questions and exams are appropriate to the context, as many things differ. Khat consumption for example, is an important part of people’s daily lives here. Every afternoon, huge trucks of it can be seen being unloaded and distributed to all the small khat stalls dotted along the roads. Khat contains an amphetamine-like stimulant called cathonine which in the short term leads to euphoria, though it can also predispose to psychotic symptoms. It is an important issue when thinking about mental health/ illness in Somaliland as it is not uncommonly a co-factor to consider if a person presents with psychosis.

I spend the day also reviewing the feedback from the TOT Mental Health Skills Training course I led alongside another doctor here over the last week. The doctors who participated in the course were very happy with the outcomes and felt they had learned much from the course, which is the best outcome I could have hoped for. I also gained much from the whole process of designing, developing and organising this course in terms of leadership and team work skills. I also developed my own teaching skills and learnt much from the participant doctors on the course, with regard to teaching in Somaliland. 

Khat Stall