Safety and dignity in mental health care: Promoting skilled management of aggression and violence in inpatient care in Uganda

This project was funded by the International Health Linking Scheme stemmed from the Commonwealth Fellowship Scheme in which Ugandan health professionals spent three months at a time with ELFT. During the induction to East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT), the visitors received specialised training in how to respond safely to actual or perceived agression.

As a result, Uganda staff identified this as an area that could impact positively on care at Butabika Hospital.

The relationship between ELFT and Butabika Hospital has been key in the removal of weapons from hospital guards and this project provides a further layer of professional expectation on employees.


The project is promoting skilled and safe management of aggression and violence among psychiatric inpatients, at Butabika hospital and a regional mental health unit in Uganda.

This is being achieved by delivering Management of Aggression and Potential Aggression (MAPA) Training of Trainers to 12 dedicated staff members selected from Butabika hospital and Mbarara regional mental health units.
A specialist Train the Trainer organisation called Positive Options (PO), delivered the training in 2011, supported by East London staff.

Knowledge and skills attained from the training has been adapted and a protocol for managing violent situations is under development at Butabika Hospital.

Current activity

The 12 newly trained as Ugandan MAPA trainers are now sharing opportunities to cascade MAPA Training to other mental health staff at Butabika and at Mbarara regional mental health unit. This will advance the quality and safety of healthcare for mentally ill patients while making the work environment safer for the health professionals in Uganda.