THE Ministry of Health and Child Care is working to improve mental health services in its institutions venturing into training of mental health in districts.
By Kuda Pembere
According to its mental health strategic plan 2019 to 2023, Government sought to train provincial mental health officers, a feat they achieved last year.
In an interview with Health Ministry’s deputy director for mental health services Dr Sacrifice Chirisa said they capacitated mental health officers manning provincial health institutions last year.
Government as of last year has provincial mental health officers in all the districts. What we are now doing is the training of district mental health officers. We received funding to train more people in the training of mental health. So for the rest of this year, that’s what we will be focusing on in terms of training district mental health officers.
“We will be training those in the provinces, districts and even local clinics. We will try to target as many of our nurses already in our system as government first then expand,” he said.
Dr Chirisa said they will be working on capacitating even church leaders, and traditional leaders on mental health issues to minimize impact felt due to shortage of psychiatrists.
Deputy Health Minister Dr John Mangwiro said there was need to train rural community health workers to identify mental health issues as well as referring them.
He pledged to mobilise resources for clinical psychologists who usually volunteer without any stipends for sustenance.
Zimbabwe currently has 15 psychiatrists which burdens them in dealing with a population of over 15 million people.