Seggane Musisi (Uganda) heads the Psychiatric Consultation
Liaison Service of Mulago Teaching Hospital in Kampala.
He is also Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry and
heads the Psychiatry Research Unit at the University of
Makarere. Dr. Musisi's research interests include war-related
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders, the psychiatric problems
of HIV/AIDS in Uganda and the psychosocial consequences
of violent cults and religious fundamentalisms.
Dr. Musisi received his medical degree from Makarere University
and postgraduate training in psychiatry at the University
of Toronto. He subsequently worked in Ontario at the Whitby
Psychiatric Hospital as Director of the Psychiatric Intensive
Care Unit, then at York Central Hospital as a Consultant
Psychiatrist in charge of the Crisis Intervention and Day
He was also a Consultant Psychiatrist to the Toronto-based
Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (CCVT). Through his
work with traumatised refugees and immigrants fleeing to
from all over the world, he became interested in the global
nature of psychotraumatisation and its sequelae on people's
health (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, Population
displacements, epidemics and global ill health).
Dr. Musisi is the founder of the African Psycare Research
Organisation (APRO), an NGO mental health research organization.
He consults for the Kampala-based African Centre for the
Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims, ACTV and
is Consultant and Technical Advisor to the Rehabilitation
Centre for Torture Victims - Working Group on Torture and
Organised Violence, a Danish NGO. Dr. Musisi is a member
of the Sub-Saharan African
Network against Torture and Organised Violence and a Fellow
of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
· Musisi S., Kinyanda E et al (2000): Post Traumatic
Torture Disorders in Uganda: - A 3-year retrospective study
of case records at a specialized torture Treatment Centre
in Kampala, Uganda. Torture. Vol. 10. No.3
· Musisi S., Kinyanda E. et al (1999): The Psychological
Consequences of War-traumtisation on Women in the Luwero
triangle. Isis-WICCE Publication. Uganda.
· Musisi S., Yawe O. L. et al (2001 in press): The
Life and Causes of Street Children in Uganda. The International
Conference on Street Children's Health - Dar-Es-Salaam,
Tanzania: April 2000.
The Long-term Psychosocial Sequels Of Prolonged Psychotraumatisation
A Comparative Study Of Three African Communities That Experienced
This research proposal aims to explore the long-term impact
of prolonged military conflicts on the mental health of
affected African communities. It will be premised on the
internationally recognized and accepted WHO-recommendation
that the mental health of communities is a composite component
of Public Health.
The chronic war-traumatization of African communities has
created massive public health problems in terms of:
1) Physical illnesses and incapacitations e.g. fractures,
maiming, rapes, STIs, starvations, epidemics etc.
2) Psychological disorders e.g. Post-traumatic Stress Disorders
(PTSD), depression, anxiety, substance abuse, somatoform
3) Social problems e.g. broken families, population displacements,
refugees, poverty, street children, urban lumpen, food shortages,
low productions etc.
This situation has negatively impacted socioeconomic development,
gender relations, children's welfare and the general public
health of communities. Furthermore, the recognized use of
sexual torture as a weapon of war (e.g. mass rapes) and
the transgenerational effects of war torture have yet to
be explored on the African continent. Recent studies have
attempted to address some impacts of this chronic warfare
on African populations e.g. epidemics (cholera, dysentery,
malnutrition, HIV/AIDS, Ebola etc), retarded economic development,
endemic poverty, population displacements, refugees etc.
However there is very limited literature on the mental health
fallout of prolonged warfare on African communities and
no massive treatments have been attempted.
Using a descriptive cross-sectional study design, this
project will investigate the psychological sequels of war
trauma on the communities of three African countries, i.e.
Uganda, Rwanda and Ethiopia. One psychotraumatic treatment
center will be identified in each country as the focus of
study. Records of treated cases will be reviewed in terms
of the war trauma events, psychological disorders, treatments
given and their general socio-demographics. Community surveys
and purposively selected in-depth interviews of key informants
and focus group discussions will be held using semi-structured
interviews in local languages. Data on the mental health
profiles of each country will be obtained.
The results of this study will highlight the massive mental
health problems caused by prolonged military conflicts particularly
on Africa and how this impacts on the general public health
of their communities. Recommendations will be made on treatment,
rehabilitative and preventive aspects of war psychotrauma
and on peaceful conflict resolution and prevention.
This study will contribute to the New Century Scholars
Program (NCS) by engaging in the global discourse on war-related
psychotraumatization and its effects on individuals, communities
and families. The mental health of communities is a Public
Health concern. The massive proliferation of global war
conflicts fueled by global interests and the war industry
disrupts the mental health equilibrium of the world community
causing massive refugees, displacements, migrations and
exiles as well as transgenerational effects and perpetuation
of war and its tortures. This is of immense concern to the
international community and for international health, e.g.
genocides and epidemics. By highlighting this mental health
consequence of war, this study will contribute to the core
discourse of the NCS Program: Health in a Borderless World.