Mental Health in the wake of Covid19

DEPRESSED AFRICAN LADY (pic by Huffington post)

The increase in community transmissions of Covid19 in Zimbabwe is causing concern in the population’s mental health. Psychological and social problems continue to rise and consequences such as stress, anxiety, depression, frustration, uncertainty and domestic violence are an increasing progression. It is therefore of utmost importance for the people of Zimbabwe to take care of their mental health. Healthcare workers: • You are likely to feel afraid, overwhelmed and experience lots of stress as the outbreak continues, it is important to acknowledge these feelings and notice when you are not…

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An Uncomfortable Topic – Our Mental Health

I asked a young woman how she was doing during these days of lockdown. She answered that she was having anxiety attacks. I was surprised at her honest response and kudos to her! I wish I would hear more of such responses. I paused for a moment to think how I could respond to her. By Hopolang Phororo I did not want to brush her aside… so, I probed a little more to find out how she felt when she was experiencing these attacks, what triggered them and what she…

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#BREAKING: Zim Sitting On A Post COVID-19 Mental Health Time Bomb

DEPRESSED AFRICAN LADY (pic by Huffington post)

MENTAL health expert and Psychologist, Dr Kudakwashe Muchena has warned of a serious mental health crisis post the COVID-19 induced lockdown at the back of economic and social uncertainties that have been brought about by the prevailing COVID-19 health crisis. By Michael Gwarisa In an interview with HealthTimes, Dr Muchena said Zimbabwe had already been experiencing high suicide and mental health cases before the COVID-19 struck and the prevailing health crisis would likely worsen an already fragile mental health environment. We are sitting on a time-bomb, whilst all the focus…

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Health Ministry To Train District Mental Health Officers

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…

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AMARI’S Mental Health Documentary Premieres In Zim

THE African Mental Health Research Initiative (AMARI) on Wednesday premiered a documentary dubbed Articulate: Filling The Gap in Harare focusing on mental health issues affecting Malawi, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Ethiopia. By Kudakwashe Pembere With subsequent premieres expected to be done in the other African countries, the documentary will first be aired on internet platforms as well as public service broadcasting corporations. The documentary features issues such as postpartum depression experienced by mothers, the uptake of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis(PrEP) among sex workers in Zimbabwe, a bipolar disorder patient, as well as…

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Study Endorses Psychosocial Therapy In Low and Middle Income Countries

AS Zimbabwe’s Health and Child Care Ministry intends to adopt the Friendship Bench community mental health initiative, a research published on Lancet Psychiatry has shown that psychosocial therapy interventions is effective in bridging the mental health gap in low income and middle income countries. By Kudakwashe Pembere In Zimbabwe, there is a globally renowned intervention named the Friendship Bench where community health workers such as the Mbuya Utsanana and even the youth are used as psychotherapists. The Health Ministry in its 2019-2023 Mental Health Strategic Plan in the adoption of…

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Zim Still Experiencing Psychiatrists Shortage

THE shortage of psychiatrists in Zimbabwe poses a threat to the country’s health sector as mental health practitioners are overwhelmed by the growing numbers of mental health cases around the country, a mental health practitioner has said. By Kudakwashe Pembere In an interview with HealthTimes after presenting on Mental health practice as a career for the future at the Zimbabwe Medical Students Association Annual General Meeting on Saturday,  Dr Fungi Mazhandu said the country three private psychiatrists. “Of the 17 psychiatrists we have in Zimbabwe, just three are in private…

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Botswana To Host Africa Mental Health Symposium

A  two day mental health conference which is set among other things to deliberate and proffer solutions to the growing mental health burden in Africa, will be held in Botswana, Gaborone from 29 to 30 October, 2018. By Michael Gwarisa In an interview with HealthTimes, Botswana Network for Mental Health official, Charity Kiki Kennedy said the conference has registered tremendous response from potential participants and renowned speakers around the continent and called more partners and players to come board. “The conference will be hosted in Botswana at Blue Tree in…

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Mental Health Reels From Underfunding- MSF

LACK of funding from government and general lack of interest in mental health issues by Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in favor of other ailments such as HIV, Cancers and Tuberculosis (TB) makes it difficult to curb the souring cases of mental illness in Zimbabwe, MSF head of Mission Ms Abi Kebra Bilaye has said. By Michael Gwarisa Briefing stakeholders during an MSF Presentation of their activities in Zimbabwe, Ms Bilaye said there was massive resentment of mental health by the donor community and this has resulted in poor funding for such…

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MSF Establishes Effective Community Mental Health Model

HealthTimes Correspondent  MEDICAL humanitarian organisation, Medecins Sans Frontieres/ Doctors Without Borders (MSF) have established an effective community mental health model of care in 12 polyclinics and one satellite clinic in Harare to enhance the provision of mental health care in the community. The community mental health care model is a pilot programme that was started by MSF in April 2016 in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC), the City of Harare health department and the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences, Department of Psychiatry. It involves…

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