phd fellow

Debra Machando

Debra .jpg

University of Zimbabwe

Debra Machando is a PhD fellow from Zimbabwe studying with the University of Cape Town. She obtained a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Zimbabwe in 2012, and then joined Women’s University of Africa (WUA) as a psychology lecturer and department coordinator. She is the recipient of the prestigious WUA Vice Chancellor’s award for ‘Best Lecturer - University and Community Service’. 

Debra’s main research interests are mental health system strengthening and neurocognitive assessments. Her thesis for the AMARI fellowship aims to validate and develop norms for a neurocognitive screen for people with acquired brain injury, e.g. stroke. Additionally, Debra has participated in grant-funded research projects (Friendship Bench & TENDAI).

Debra is also the chairperson and member of the regulatory boards Allied Health Practitioners Council and Health Professions Authority respectively. She is also the country’s executive member for Pan Africa Psychological Union (PAPU). This gives her an opportunity to influence mental health at policy level through the mandate of the council and the network afforded by the roles. Currently, she is the Managing Director of Kushinga, a mental health systems strengthening project that involves researchers from Harvard, Mount Sinai, and King’s College London ( She also worked as a clinical psychologist for Médecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) from 2015-17, leading clinical care for mental health disorders at Harare Hospital.


Dr Progress Njomboro, University of Cape Town

Prof Jane Riddoch, University of Birmingham