NaUKMA Senior Lecturer shared her experience of implementing the NIH project at NaUKMA in the wartime and meeting with the Acting Director of the Fogarty International Center


In 2021, NaUKMA received its first National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to study the knowledge, attitudes, practices, and context of implementing mental health treatment outside of specialized institutions in Ukraine. Dr. Alyona Mazhnaya, a Senior Lecturer at the School of Public Health at NaUKMA, received funding to conduct research and professional development. This international research career development grant, funded by the Fogarty International Center (FIC) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), supports prominent global health researchers in their early career development.


The wartime context poses special and unforeseen challenges to the project. Nevertheless, the findings may be important for developing the mental health system in Ukraine. Currently, it is especially important to increase initiatives to reduce the gap between the need for services and the capacity of the mental health system.


The principal investigator of the project, Dr. Alyona Mazhnaya, shared experience of overcoming challenges and interim results of the project with Peter Kilmarx, Acting Director of the Fogarty International Center, at a meeting of grantees and trainees of the Fogarty International Center in Warsaw in June 2023. Representatives of the public health sector from Ukraine and Poland, as well as staff of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Ukraine and Georgia joined the meeting. The participants supported the project and expressed interest in the possibility of future cooperation. You can read more about the project's experience, the challenges of wartime for the health sector in Ukraine, the need for resilience, and the role of NaUKMA in supporting young scientists in times of war in the interview with the principal investigator in the Global Health Newsletter. According to Dr. Alyona Mazhnaya: "Building a mental health system has to move forward now. People already need services, and we can't wait until some unknown time when things are less tumultuous." The first publication of the project in the peer-reviewed international journal Frontiers in Public Health presents the results of a qualitative study of the early experiences of patients with opioid use disorders in private clinics after Russia's invasion of Ukraine in five major cities of Ukraine.


“Research reported in this publication was supported by the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number K43TW012016. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.”





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