Development cooperation , 16.02.2017

Mental Health Programme in Tanzanian Prisons


DEVELOPMENT TARGET The goal is to ensure better psychiatric health for inmates during and after the prison term and furthering their integration back into normal society. DEVELOPMENT PROBLEM In Tanzanian prisons care of psychiatric patients is insufficient and lacking in quality. These inmates belong to most vulnarable groups in the country. MAIN GOALS In this 3-year exit phase of the project: -A good standard of psychiatric care in Tanzanian prisons is maintained after the project. -The actual state of psychiatric problems in Tanzanian prisons is documented to be used for future planning and follow-up. CROSS-CUTTING DEVELOPMENT POLICY 1. Gender equality: The only female and youth prisons in Tanzania are included in the project. 2. Reducing unequality in prisons by better psychiatric treatment of prisoners and thus improving their survival in society after prison. CREATING NEW STRUCTURES New network will ensure sustainable support to the health care personnel in each Tanzanian prison to identify, diagnose and treat psychiatric patients. By law, the district psychiatric nurses are to visit prisons yearly MAIN BENEFICIARIES Prisoners with psychiatric problems upon arrival and those, whose problems have manifested during the prison term KEY PROJECT ACTIVITIES 1. Form a NETWORK to ensure the standard of psychiatric care in Tanzanian prisons. Create a system where the doctor and nurse of each Tanzanian prison will be visited once a year by a specialised psychiatric professional, in form of supervision and follow-up. 30 psychiatric district coordinators will attend an orientating course on psychiatric problems in prisons, for that purpose. The course will also be attended by 7 prison nurses specialised in psychiatry as well as 2 prison doctors currently specialising in psychiatry 2. Survey study on mental health problems in Tanzanian prisons, suggested by The Head of Tanzanian Prisons. It was also introduced to us by our Embassy already since 2012. The study will be carried out by our partner organisation MEHATA in cooperation with the Tanzanian Prison Services. The study will serve as basis for any future plans developing psychiatric care in Tanzanian prisons


  • 2017: 49 310 €
  • 2018: 25 736 €
  • 2019: 7 641 €

Objectives monitored by OECD's Development Assistance Committee

  • Participatory development/Good governance
  • Gender equality

Field of activity

  • Medical education/training 60%
  • Health policy and administrative management 40%

Special target group

  • women
  • youth
  • elderly people

Funding channel

  • Vaasan Kehitysmaaseura - Vasa U-landsförening ry
  • Health Department. Tanzania Prison Service
  • MEHATA (NGO), Mental Health Association of Tanzania



Code for the object of funding