Fogarty Fellow: Harriet Opondo

a portrait of Harriet Opondo

Harriet Opondo, PhD

Nominated From: University of Minnesota
Research Site: Global Health Uganda (The Joint Clinical Research Center, JCRC)
Primary Mentor: Maria Kroupina

Research Project

Mental Health needs assessment of children ages 0-5 Living with HIV in an Urban Setting in Uganda

Reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate advancement in the fight against HIV/AIDS infection through prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and support services. However, there is still a considerable number of young children (0-5 years) living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in sub-Saharan African countries including Uganda. Existing literature highlights the importance of addressing the mental health needs of at-risk children including those with chronic infections.  However, there is limited research regarding the impact of HIV on the mental health of children ages 0-5 years who are living with HIV in Uganda.
In this study, with the support and guidance of my mentors, I will conduct a mental health needs assessment of children (0-5 years) living with HIV in Uganda. The purpose of this study is to establish the mental health needs among children living with HIV (0-5) and to describe and assess the spectrum of mental health needs (magnitude and prevalence) among children living with HIV ages 0-5. This information will highlight mental health needs including assessment, diagnosis, and evaluation among this population which can inform appropriate intervention strategies. The specific aims of this study are to establish the awareness of key stakeholders regarding mental health needs among children (0-5) years who are living with HIV and establish existing resources and capacities to respond to these needs. The results of this study may provide increased awareness and information regarding the mental health needs of young Children Living With HIV(CLHIV) and will inform future advocacy, training, and intervention strategies.