The objective of the 3-year MEGA project is to develop an assessment tool to be used on smartphone to help treat mental health problems of children and adolescents and to introduce the tool in practice. The application will be designed to be as easy to use as possible, so that primary health care centers in rural areas benefit from it as well. The project will train the use of the application in universities, which in turn will train healthcare staff in South Africa and Zambia. The project also involves research activities: one doctoral dissertation and Master student theses.
The three-day project meeting was organized at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa. TUAS, our European partners from Riga and Hamburg, and three project partners from South Africa and one from Zambia were present at the meeting. During the meeting, we shared updates on the project status, planned future activities and agreed on the division of labor. In addition, an expert panel was conducted to validate the questionnaire for mapping mental health services. TUAS and RTU had a chance to be acquainted with a health center in the suburbs. Nurses carry out excellent work with great professionalism while receiving around 200 patients a day, most of them children. According to the nurses, mental health issues are often completely ignored due to the sensitivity of the issues and lack of time.
Our Bloemfontein colleagues provided a great framework for the meeting. The university campus was functional and quite modern. Our journey went without any difficulties and we were delighted to notice that our project is moving forward and the project partners are committed to accomplishing a common goal.