Project Lead(s): Shamsa Zafar, Siham Sikander
Untreated depression in pregnant women is of particular concern, due to its adverse effects on the health of the infant. The economic burden of depression in pregnant and postnatal women goes beyond the cost of treating depression itself. The scope and magnitude of the problem is magnified in humanitarian crisis settings. Scaling up existing and proven interventions for depression is slowed down by the costs, equity and quality concerns, along with service delivery issues. The lack of skilled specialists is another major barrier.
The Thinking Healthy Program is an evidence-based psychological intervention, delivered by non-specialists, with proven impact on maternal depression. The key innovation is the development of a technology-assisted cascade training and supervision system to assist scale-up of the Thinking Healthy Program. This will tackle the major challenge of providing quality training and supervision at scale, especially where health systems are weak. Partnering with World Vision will foster cross-learning in preparation for a future collaboration and scaling. Throughout the life of this project, 6,000 women in the Swat region of Pakistan will be screened and referred for treatment when necessary by la health workers, using both traditional and technology-assisted methods.