Paul Pindani in Chinhoyi
Health workers in the province and the nation at large are suffering from mental challenges such as stress and depression due to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic, a medical expert has said.
Tichaona Mahachi, the Provincial Mental health officer, during a Zimbabwe Union of Journalists(ZUJ) Community engagement meeting that was held at Chinhoyi town house recently said health workers suffered the worst as they witness people dying in isolation wards.
He said one of the major problems was depression which led to suicidal tendencies.
He said because of the depression, some would feel helpless, lonely, sad, unworthy and hopeless which can lead to suicide.
Mahachi said they were being depressed because of the situation.
“It’s a mental problem. Seemingly, they suffer from anxiety disorders,” said Mahachi.
“They are even exposed to the pandemic. We have also lost some of our colleagues during their tour of duty due to the scourge.”
He said around seven health workers had succumbed to Covid-19 in the province while 683 have been infected.
Mahachi said those health workers who have been affected were suffering from anxiety problems such as stress which was a major health impact in the province.
“Imagine waking up and hearing that your colleague whom you were on duty with the previous day is no more?”
“So, they are always suffering from a lot of stress related issues,” he said.
Mahachi said the ministry of health had come up with some training methods meant to aid the health workers’ abilities to deal with these problems at personal capacity and also to assist others.
He said a lot of people have been trained on Psychological First Aid (PFA).
“These trainings are meant to aid their abilities to deal with these problems at personal capacity and also to assist others,” said Mahachi.
Zimbabwe Nurses Association provincial chairman Kudakwashe Kokanai told H-Metro that their major hiccup regarding any possible action towards addressing the circumstance is staff coverage.
“We have apparently engaged the employer to act swiftly on the recruitment process for both trainees and also the initiation once again of training for PCNs (primary care nurses) to try and curb the situation,” said Kokanai.
“In the same vein, engagements on review of welfare for the nurses hasn’t stopped, the two parties (government and association) are working tirelessly to address that salary and allowances gap just to motivate the nurse.”