Prof. David M. Ndetei – Bio sketch










University of Nairobi, Kenya






Medicine and Surgery


University of London, UK






Psychological Medicine


Royal College of Psychiatrists of the United Kingdom







Institute of Family Therapy, London








University of Nairobi, Kenya

M.D (Doctorate-PhD level)




Royal College of Psychiatrists of the United Kingdom





A. Personal Statement

I am a full Professor of psychiatry at the University of Nairobi in Kenya supervising Masters and Doctoral students, a position I have held since 1995, and I am also the Founding Director of Africa Mental Health Foundation (AMHF), a Non-Governmental Organization dedicated to research and evidence based policy, practice and promotion of mental and neurological health, and healthy behavior, which has grown to become a leading center of Mental Health Research in the Eastern and Central Africa. I have just completed compiling my thesis for higher doctorate (DSc.) from the University of Nairobi, the first ever such degree by University of Nairobi alumni.


I am also Chair of the Africa Division of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (UK) and Secretary to the World Psychiatric Association, Division of Psychiatry in Developing countries. Educated in Kenya and London, he has served as the Principal Investigator (PI) for nearly all Kenyan published clinical and community epidemiological studies on mental health.


I am a Member - Peer Review Committee of the Grand Challenges Global Mental Health  and also Member - National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)/National Institutes of Health (NIH) – Committee to develop Mental Health Research Strategy


I have been the PI or Co-I of nearly all Kenyan published clinical and community epidemiological studies on mental health and substance abuse which are the basis for practice in Kenya. In one of the very first multicenter studies in the world, supported by the World Health Organization (WHO), on the neuro-psychiatric aspects of HIV/AIDS, I was the Co-I for Kenya. My pioneering studies on the relationship between intravenous drug use and HIV/AIDS supported by the United Nation Office of Drug and Crime (UNODC) are the basis of the current government policy on intravenous drug users. I have a track record of international collaborations involving such organizations as WHO; UNODC; African Technology Policy Studies Network, International Development for Research in Africa Global Health For Research Institute, the European Commission and numerous universities across the globe.


I have successfully coordinated a study in medical schools in 16 African Countries, in collaboration with the Royal College of Psychiatrists, thus showing my vast experience with working in partnership with various countries. I am also an international mentor and collaborator to National Institutes of Health funded researchers Besides publications in peer-reviewed journals, I have edited 5 books and 21 monographs available to the public at the University of Nairobi Library. I therefore have the experience and demonstrated successful track record in research.


B. Positions and Honors

Positions and Employment

1981 – 1983               Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry, University of Nairobi

1983 – 1988               Senior Lecturer, University of Nairobi

1988 – 1995               Associate Professor, University of Nairobi

1988 – 2000               Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Nairobi

Member of the Senate, University of Nairobi

1995 -                                     Professor of Psychiatry, University of Nairobi

2000 -                                     Founding Director, Africa Mental Health Foundation




·         Won the AFRICAN NEUROSCIENCE EDUCATIONAL GRANT for the Best Article Published In the African Journal of Psychiatry 2010

·         STAFF MERIT AWARD (2001) – UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI Awarded in recognition for distinguished contribution to the academic aspirations of the University of Nairobi

  • Honorary Secretary, Division of Psychiatry in Developing Countries, World Psychiatric Association
  • Vice-Chair, African Division of The Royal College of Psychiatrists


C. Selected Peer-reviewed Publications (Selected from 244 peer-reviewed publications)


Most relevant to the current application

  1. Daniel Mamah,  Akinkunle Owoso,  Anne W. Mbwayo, Victoria N. Mutiso, Susan K. Muriungi, Lincoln I. Khasakhala, Deanna M. Barch, David M. Ndetei.  Classes of Psychotic Experiences in Kenyan Children and Adolescents Child Psychiatry Hum Dev. Published online 13 December 2012
  2. 2.    Ndetei DM, Muriungi SK, Owoso A, Mutiso VN, Mbwayo AW, Khasakhala LI, Barch DM, Mamah D. Prevalence and characteristics of psychotic-like experiences in Kenyan youth. Psychiatry Res. 2012 Apr 30;196 (2-3):235-42. Epub 2012 Mar 27
  3. Ndetei DM. Emerging Opportunities For Mental Health Research In Africa Afr J Psychiatry 2012;15:157
  4. Ndetei DM. About Tolani Asuni – A Personal Touch All The Way From West To East Africa Afr J Psychiatry 2012;15:153
  5. Achenbach TM, Ndetei DM. Clinical models for child and adolescent behavioral, emotional, and social problems. In Rey JM (ed), IACAPAP e-Textbook of Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Geneva: International Association for Child and
  6. 6.    Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions 2012.
  7. 7.    Khasakhala L Ndetei DM, Mutiso V, Mbwayo A., Mathai M., The Prevalence Of Depression Among Adolescents In Nairobi Public Secondary Schools: Association With Perceived Maladaptive Parenting Behaviour. African Journal of Psychiatry, Vol 15, Issue 2, Mar 2012 pp. 106-113
  8. Ndetei DM., Mbwayo AW . Anne Mbwayo, Mutiso V.,   Khasakhala LI., Noncommercial Alcohol in Kenya – A case study form Kibwezi and Kangemi. Global actions on Harmful Drinking: Noncommercial Alcohol 2012
  9. Harder, V.S., Mutiso, V.N., Khasakhala, L.I., Burke, H.M., Ndetei, D.M. (2012). Multiple Traumas, Post-Election Violence, and Posttraumatic Stress among Impoverished Kenyan Youth. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 25(1), 64-70. PMCID:PMC3476455.
  10. Khasakala, L.I., Sorsdahl, K.R., Harder, V.S., Williams, D.R., Stein, D.J., & Ndetei, D.M. (2011). Lifetime mental disorders and suicide behavior in South Africa. African Journal of Psychiatry, 14(2),134-139. PMCID: PMC3224178.
  11. Ndetei DM, Khasakhala LI, Mutiso V, Ongecha-Owuor FA, Kokonya DA. FDrug Use in Rural Secondary School in Kenya. Journal of Substance Abuse, 1547-0164, Volume 31, Issue 3, 2010, Pages 170 – 173
  12. Ndetei DM, Khasakhala LI, Mutiso V, Mbwayo A. Suicidality and Depression Among Adult Patints Admitted in General Medical Facilities in Kenya. Annals of General Psychiatry 2010, 9:7 Available online at
  13. Ndetei DM, Khasakhala LI, Mutiso V, Mbwayo A. Recognition of Depression in Children in General Hospital Based Paediatric Units in Kenya – Practice and Policy Implications. Annals of General Psychiatry 2009, 8:25 Avalable online at
  14. Ndetei DM, Khasakhala LI, Pizzo M, Mutiso V, Ongecha-Owuor FA, Kokonya DA. A Cross-Sectional Study of Co-Occuring Suicidal and Psychotic Symptoms in Inpatients at Mathari Psychiatric Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya. The Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinica Psychiatry, 2009;11:3:110-114
  15. Ndetei DM, Khasakhala L, Kuria M, Mutiso V, Ongecha FA, Kokonya D. The Prevalence of Mental Disorders in Adults in Different Level General Medical Facilities in Kenya: A Cross-Sectional Study. Annals of General Psychiatry. 8:1, 2009. Available online at (last accessed on  June 6th, 2012)
  16. Ndetei DM, Ongecha FA, Malow RM, Onyancha J, Mutiso V, Kokonya D, Khasakhala L, Odhiambo G, Rosenberg R. Next Priorities for Intervention in Kenya: Results from Cohort study of Drug Use, HIV and HCV Patterns in Five Urban Areas. International Psychology Reporter. 10: 16-9, 2006.
  17. 17.  Maj M, Satz P, Janssen R, Zaudig M, Starace F, D'Elia L, Sughondhabirom B, Mussa M, Naber D, Ndetei D.M, Schulte G, Sartorious N. WHO Neuropsychiatric AIDS study, cross-sectional phase II. Neuropsychological and neurological findings. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 51: 51-61, 1994. PMID: 8279929 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  18. Ndetei DM, Khasakhala LI, Mutiso V, Ongecha-Owuor FA, Kokonya DA. Patterns of Drug Abuse in Public Secondary Schools in Kenya. Substance Abuse 2009, 30 (1), 69-78
  19. Ndetei DM, Mutiso V, Ongecha-Owuor FA, Kokonya DA, Khasakhala LI. Psychosocial and Health Aspects of Drug Use by Students in Public Secondary Schools in Nairobi, Kenya, Substance Abuse 2009, 30 (1), 61-68
  20. Ndetei DM, Khasakhala LI, Kingori J, Oginga A, Raja S.  The Complementary Role of Traditional and Faith Healers and Potential Liaisons with Western-Style Mental Health Services in Kenya.  Available online at
  21. 21.  Ndetei DM, Pizzo M, Khasakhala LI, Maru HM, Mutiso VN, Ongecha FA, Omar A, Kokonya DA. Perceived economic and behavioural effects of the mentally ill on their relatives in Kenya: a case study of the Mathari Hospital. Volume 12, Issue 4,  African Journal of Psychiatry 2009;12:293-299




Task Shifting In Mental Health:  Innovative Approaches International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Canada

Goal: Train and evaluate the effectiveness of non-psychiatric nurses; non-psychiatric clinical officers; community health workers; traditional and faith healers and expert patients in identifying, managing (including referring) patients with mental disorders

Co-Principal Investigator



Traditional Knowledge Systems & Increasing Access to benefit Sharing of Intellectual property in Africa – Africa Technology Policy Studies  (ATPSCP0209)

Goal:  Mental illness treated by the traditional healers and how they treat mental disorders amongst their patients and sensitize the traditional healers on benefit sharing if their methods are used in the development of modern medicine by phamarceutical industries

Principal Investigator


Nature And Extent Of Non-commercial Alcohol In Rural And Urban Settings In Kenya (Training Grant) – International Centre for Alcohol Policies,  Washington, DC

Goal: find out the composition of the non-commercial alcohol products produced/sold/consumed and the views and attitude of stakeholders regarding production, sale and consumption of non-commercial alcohol

Principal Investigator

2010 - 2012

Population-based assessment of election-related gender-based violence and mental health outcome in Kenya - McGill University

Goal: Find out if there were any gender violence related cases leading to mental health problems during and after the post election violence in Kenya

Co-Principal Investigator


Grand Challenges Canada share between Africa Mental Health Foundation (AMHF) and University of Toronto and University of British Columbia with AMHF as the administrating Institutions


  1. 1.                 To test the efficacy and feasibility for scale-up of a multi-stakeholder model for primary schools that seeks to promote mental well-being, prevent mental illness and reduce the treatment gap for children
  2. 2.                 Training lay health workers to screen for alcohol and other substance use disorders and training health professionals to deliver the interventions to individuals identified in the screening. Our evaluation approach uses state-of-the-art methodology, with a knowledge, attitude and practice, evaluation, a randomized control trial, and qualitative methodologies to enhance the trainings and improve mental health care.



Principal Investigator

2012 ongoing


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