Zanzibar Mental Health Shamba (ZAMHS), is an organisation set up by Mental Health Nurses in the UK to support Mental Health services in Zanzibar.
ZAMHS was formed in 2014 to fundraise and provide more formalised assistance. Since then ZAMHS has organised a number of fund raising activities and been awarded grants to support mental health services in Zanzibar.
All members of ZAMHS are qualified mental health nurses with many years experience working with mental health issues in rural areas.
Mike Greenwood is a retired senior manager for mental health. Mike was a county manager for North West Wales community mental health services, and managed the clinics and inpatient units in a very rural sparsely populated area. Mike won several awards, including from Welsh Government for his work. Mike was a teacher for social work and health courses in University of Bangor.
Mike has worked with an NGO in Tanzania as a photographer and researched Mental Health provisions in Tanzania.
Ruth Jennison worked with Ministry of Health and Social Welfare Zanzibar and VSO for 2 years in 2005 -2007, setting up clinics throughout the island and training her Zanzibarian counterpart. She has supported them financially in small ways since her return. Ruth has worked within the Zanzibar service and speaks Swahili, and has kept in touch with the staff from the ministry over the last ten years. Ruth currently works as a psychiatric nurse in Aberystwyth.
Lynne Wigley is a community psychiatric nurse working with older people in the community in rural Wales.
ZAMHS members have provided regular monthly payments to pay for fuel and medication to support rural clinics in Zanzibar for the last 10 years, initially on an informal basis, ZAMHS was formed to formalise this partnership .
Ruth and Mike from ZAMHS visited Zanzibar in September 2017 with a grant from HCA to formalise the partnership and sign an MOU with the ministry of Health Zanzibar to support rural clinics.
Since that visit ZAMHS paid for a motorbike and equipment so that MOH staff are able to travel to the rural clinics.
Ruth and Mike visited Zanzibar again in September 2018 to check on progress. The motorbike is well used, there are now more mental health clinics in the rural areas and a more consistent supply of medication. They also met with traditional healers, and arranged and paid for a day out to the seaside for the staff and patients of the main psychiatric hospital in Zanzibar City. This trip was self funded.
On both occasions they met with the Secretary to the Minister for Health in Zanzibar to discuss what has been achieved so far and to ensure future plans are in accordance with the policy of the Zanzibar government. ZAMHS has an MOU signed by the ministry to agree our work in Zanzibar.
We have communicated regularly with our Zanzibar partners to ascertain their needs. The most pressing problems they have providing mental health care in the rural areas has been discussed and needs identified. Small financial support have been sent for specific purposes. Monthly statistics are sent by our main partner Mr Sulieman showing how many individuals are seen and receipts for fuel. He has also reported their problems re transport, access to medication and lack of educational materials and training resources.
Main African partner – Ministry of Health and Social Welfare Zanzibar
Mr Abdu Ali Sulieman is the Mental Health Co-ordinator within the ministry of Health and Social Welfare for Zanzibar, he heads a small team of professionals that cover Unguja, Pemba and the outlying islands.
Mr Suleiman is running the Community Mental Health service on Zanzibar. He is responsible for the planning of Mental Health service development. He is therefore aware of the shortfalls and what is needed to address them. In his work he has contact with all relevant NGOs on the islands.
He heads a small team of highly skilled and motivated staff who run the rural clinics and supply medication.
Swahili is his mother tongue but he is well able to communicate in English.
Since Ruth returned in to the UK in 2007 she has kept in touch with Mr Sulieman in Zanzibar. Small amounts of funding has regularly been provided for agreed expenditure.
In 2017 and 2018 Mr Suleiman organised the itinerary, meetings and transport for the visits from ZAMHS, provides receipts and reports on numbers of clinics and patients seen on a monthly basis, and is in regular contact by email regardijg their plans for the future.
Zanzibar Psychiatric Association (ZPA):
ZAMHS members first came across this organisation during the visit in 2017. We were so impressed by what they are doing they we agreed to provide regular funding for them. ZPA provides support for people with mental health problems not only by supplying medication for free but also therapy, and providing tools and materials so that individuals can set themselves up in business to support themselves. In October 2017 ZAMHS and ZPA attended the World Mental Health Day celebrations in Zanzibar City
In September 2018 we spend time with ZPA visiting patients in the community and discussing their plans for a health education program working with the Zanzibar Ministry of Health.
ZAMHS and ZPA are in regular contact by email regarding planning future activities.
Mike Greenwood, Abdu Ali Suleiman and Ruth Jennison
Since Ruth returned in to the UK in 2007 we have kept in touch with Mr Sulieman in Zanzibar. Small amounts of funding has regularly been provided for agreed expenditure, principally petrol and medication to allow the staff to access the rural clinics
We have communicated regularly with our Zanzibar partners to ascertain their needs. The most pressing problems they have providing mental health care in the rural areas has been discussed and needs identified. Small financial support have been sent for specific purposes. Monthly statistics are sent by Mr Sulieman showing how many individuals are seen. He has also reported their problems re transport, access to medication and lack of educational materials.
We are working with Community Mental Health services in Zanzibar to pay for fuel for transport to far flung areas and medicines to be able to supply to those with Mental Health or Neurological problems who cannot afford to pay for them.
We also raise money to be able to provide much needed equipment such as Pikipiki (motorbikes) so staff can reach the remote areas of the island.