Peter C. Alderman Foundation - Village Health Works

Building capacity and implementing mental health services in Burundi

2016 - 2019

Burundi is a small country in the African Great Lakes region that has experienced years of civil war, leaving the country one of the poorest of the world.

As in other post-conflict nations, mental disorders are common. Burundi has only one psychiatric hospital and a small number of mental health professionals. Fewer than 5% of those requiring mental health services have access to them, leaving a treatment gap of 95%.

From 2016 to 2018, Fondation d’Harcourt supported the Peter. C. Alderman Foundation (PCAF) in developing mental health services with Village Health Works at the VHW clinic in Kigutu, Burundi. The VHW clinic delivers services to treat infectious disease, non-communicable disease and also provides pediatric, and maternal health care to a catchment area of approximately 200,000 people. PCAF built on existing facilities by pulling together a multidisciplinary mental health team, training and supervising them to increase patient screening and recruitment. They also promote treatment adherence, offer home visits, and ensure patients and their families are adequately monitored.

In 2019, FdH is partnering directly with VHW to expand the care team’s knowledge and capacity, to develop local referral networks, and to integrate psychosocial support and mental health care into other aspects of service delivery. We expect this project to impact 80 service providers, including community health workers, 600 patients, and thousands of community members who benefit directly and indirectly from VHW’s outreach, treatment, and support.

Project highlights

Activities and beneficiaries


mass campaign carried out


supervision by a psychiatrist


patients visited at home


patients recruited


technical training for professional