SMART Uganda

Reach the Youth Uganda
The First Lady and Minister of Science and Sports Hon. Janet Museveni (center) at the launch of SMART Uganda. On her right is Prof. Mary McKay the PI, Prof. Fred Ssewamala the Co-PI and ED RTY


SMART Uganda

SMART means Strengthening Mental Health Research and Training in Africa. It is a 5 (five) year study (2016 – 2021 undertaken by McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at New York University, Washington University in St. Louis and the International Center for Child Health and Development (ICHAD).

The principal invistigator is Prof. Mary McKay – Dean of Schoool of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis and Prof. Fred Ssewamala of Columbia University, School of Social Work as the Co-principal investigator

The study is funded by the USA government, NIH and is being implemented in 4 African countries, Uganda, Kenya, Ghana and South Africa with Uganda as scale up center while others are hubs. In Uganda the implementing partners are Reach the Youth Uganda (RTY), Rakai Health Services Program (RHSP) and Makerere University. RTY’s Executive Director Dr. Abel Mwebembezi is the Co-lead in Uganda.

In Uganda the study will be conducted in greater Masaka region in the district of Masaka, Rakai, Lwengo and Kalungu involving 3000 pupils aged 7 – 13yrs and distributed in 30 primary schools.

The inaugural international conference on SMART was launched in Uganda on July 13, 2016 by the Minister of Education, Science and Sports, Hon Janet Museveni and it was attended by all participating Universities namely University of Nairobi, University of Ghana and University of Kwazulu Natal and Makerere University. It was also attended by delegates from NIH, New York University, Washington University in St Louis, Ohio State Uninversity among others.

Study Objectives
  1. To establish and engage a transdisciplinary research constitium of academic, government, NGO, community and cultural stakeholders in Uganda, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa focusing on addressing child mental health burden EBP implementation, scaleup and service gaps.
  2. To build child mental health implementation in research capacity (including developing monitoring systems), conducting small scale implementation studies in Ghana and Kenya.
  3. To conduct an EBP scaleup research study in Uganda which will examine multi-level (State/government, NGOs, families, schools, commuinities) influence on the uptake, implementation, effectveness and sustainability of EBPs that address serious child disruptive behavioral challenges.