Thursday, 10 October 2013

Mental health training in Somaliland - Day 20

Wednesday 9th October


The morning is spent with the interns and nurse participants of the TOT training. Today we work on using group work and case discussion as a teaching technique, which the participants enjoy. We are also led by one of the participants, Layla on the mental ward. She prepares in advance for a teaching session and it is clear she has done this well. We see a young male patient whilst on the ward who has been admitted for the second time with mania. One of the participants takes a brief history and carries out a mental state examination. 

Much of today is about how the participants manage teaching in a clinical environment and demonstrate their ability to do this in the future as teachers. The afternoon is spent meeting students I taught in May this year, who are now spending the afternoons with me, revising psychiatry. We spend today working through how one might take a focused history and perform a mental state examination in an OSCE context and they practice doing a psychosis OSCE scenario. I am impressed by their level of remembered knowledge, considering they have not done any psychiatry since I was last here, they seem to have remembered many details. I will be thinking with them, as I did the students in Hargeisa, about techniques they might employ in an OSCE, as well as working on their knowledge base. I am pleased to bump into an old student of mine this evening. I find out that he did extremely well in his final medical school examinations, getting the top mark of the year, and has subsequently been attending a family medicine programme, which he is thoroughly enjoying. 

It is a joy meeting old faces that I know here and I am reminded of the work I have already done. I get some news via email regarding a paper I have written about the incorporation of the WHO’s mhGAP-IG into our medical undergraduate teaching. It has been under peer-review and I have been asked to make corrections. I hope after this it will be accepted for publication. This is exciting for me, in view of the commitment I have shown to the work done here and it would be great to see some of the work disseminated to a wider audience. 

Tomorrow is World Mental Health Day and myself and Dr. Jibriil are considering what we might do to mark the occasion. We plan to visit the mental ward and do something from there. I am happy to be in Somaliland during this time, doing what I am doing.