Board of Directors
Palmira Fortunato dos Santos
Dr. dos Santos’s main role at the Ministry of Health is to coordinate the Research Service at the Center for Applied Psychology and Psychometric Tests of the Mental Health Department, where they publish local research findings and are starting to do research to answer the Ministry’s priorities in mental health. She coordinated the development and writing of Mozambique’s Mental Health Strategy 2016-2026, which relies on task-shifting and focuses on primary care for mental health services provision. Dr. dos Santos is one of the coordinators of the team that implemented the mhGAP epilepsy pilot program in Mozambique from 2013-2018. The pilot program ended with outstanding results and she led the writing of the Epilepsy Action Plan (2018-2020) that aimed to extend mhGAP epilepsy program to the rest of the country.
Her research seeks evidence on the main causes of the lack of response to rehabilitation programs and access to mental health services. She conducted the first national evaluation of mental health services using the WHO-AIMS. The mental health system assessment involved all health facilities with mental health services in all ten provinces of Mozambique including more than 50 districts.
Dr. dos Santos is also engaged with the Portuguese-speaking African countries Mental Health Implementation Research Training Program funded by NIMH/Fogarty International. This is an implementation research effort that is supporting the mental health action plan integrating mental health in primary health care services.
Her priority area of interest is to improve access and quality of mental health service. She has expertise in Mental Health policy, planning, and implementation of services. Currently, she is completing her PhD on the implementation of mental health screening among HIV patients (services) at the primary health care level.