Digital Public Defence: Zienat Balla M. A. Sanhori

MSc Zienat Balla M. A. Sanhori at Institute of Clinical Medicine will be defending the thesis “Mental health and disability among internally displaced persons in Central Sudan” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

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The public defence will be held as a video conference over Zoom.

The defence will follow regular procedure as far as possible, hence it will be open to the public and the audience can ask ex auditorio questions when invited to do so.

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Download Zoom here

Due to copyright reasons, an electronic copy of the thesis must be ordered from the faculty. In order for the faculty to have time to process the order, it must be received by the faculty no later than 2 days prior to the public defence. Orders received later than 2 days before the defence will not be processed. Inquiries regarding the thesis after the public defence must be addressed to the candidate.

Digital Trial Lecture – time and place

See Digital Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Professor Jarle Eid, University of Bergen
  • Second opponent: Associate Professor Anne Høye, The Arctic University of Norway (UiT)
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Researcher Johan Siqveland, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Associate Professor Suraj Thapa, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Researcher Lars Lien, University of Oslo


There is evidence of the mental health challenges and difficulties of IDPs in low-income countries, and the extent of mental disorders, disability and social stigma increase the burden of mental illness on this vulnerable segment of the population. Whereas mental health in low-income countries has been largely ignored or underestimated.

Thus, the overall aim of the thesis was to investigating changes over a one-year period, in mental disorders, attitudes and social distance towards mental illness after a brief intervention and changes in  disability associated with distress

Data were collected from two randomly selected areas for settlement of IDPs in Central Sudan around October 2011 (T-1) and in October 2012 (T-2). The total number of respondents was 1876 adult men and women, of which 1549 participated at T-2.

In this study, high stability was found in mental health disorders from T-1 to T-2, with notable exceptions for major depression, generalized anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder and social phobia, which showed small but significant increases over time. The level of stigma was also found to be high among our respondents and no difference was observed. In stigma before and after the intervention. In addition to the increased prevalence of disability over time, with its association with psychological distress.

This study is expected to contribute to drawing the attention of decision makers to give mental health greater attention and become a priority for policy and planning, especially for high-risk  and neglected groups such as the displaced.

Additional information

Contact the research support staff.



Published Aug. 20, 2021 2:32 PM - Last modified Sep. 2, 2021 12:01 PM