Training for Mental Health Care: Epilepsy and Depression Focus in Rwanda

On the 4th of August, 2023, a pivotal training session was held at the University of Rwanda – College of Medicine and Health Sciences. The event, focused on enhancing the skills of mental health professionals in treating epilepsy and depression within primary healthcare settings, marked a significant step forward in mental health care in Rwanda.

Event Overview

Venue: UR- College of Medicine and Health Sciences


  • Associate Professor Fidele SEBERA
  • Ms. M. Providence UMUZIGA
  • Mr. Edmond DUFATANYE

This intensive training brought together a total of 50 mental health professionals from 24 esteemed hospitals and institutions, demonstrating a unified effort to advance the mental health landscape in Rwanda. The participating institutions included the University of Rwanda – CMHS, RBC – Mental Health Division, and Ndera Neuro-Psychiatric Teaching Hospital, among others.

Training Content

The training encompassed a comprehensive curriculum, tailored to equip participants with a deep understanding and practical skills in the treatment of epilepsy and depression. Key topics covered included:

  • Fundamental understanding and anatomical overview of the brain (Definition et rappel anatomique de l’encephale).
  • Neuron structure and properties (Structure du neurone et propriete).
  • Mechanisms of action potential (Potentiel d’action).
  • Pathophysiology of epilepsy (Physiopathologie de l’epilepsie).
  • Development of anti-epileptic therapies (Development des therapeutiques anti-epileptiques).
  • Pathophysiology of depression (Physiopathologie de la depression).
  • Role of neurotransmitters in mental health (Neurotransmetteurs).
  • Research on Epilepsy and comorbid conditions in Rwanda.

Impact and Way Forward

The training session not only served as a platform for knowledge exchange but also fostered a collaborative network among professionals dedicated to mental health care. The engagement of participants from diverse healthcare institutions underscores the collective commitment to improving the treatment of epilepsy and depression across Rwanda.

As we move forward, the insights and skills garnered from this training are expected to translate into enhanced care and support for individuals dealing with epilepsy and depression. It is a stride towards a future where mental health care is accessible, informed, and tailored to the unique needs of each patient.

Date of Publication: 01/2024