AUTHORITIES LOBBY FOR MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS

ZIMBABWE: HEALTH/ZBC/11/4/18 SABANews 1

Mental health patients need attention just like other people (Pic. Doctors Without Borders)

GOROMONZI – The ZIMBABWE National Association for Mental Health has launched a campaign to reach out to people suffering from mental disorders in the country.

ZBC News says hundreds of people have today (WEDNESDAY) gathered at CHINYIKA Clinic in the eastern area of GOROMONZI for a community outreach programme on psychosis.

Medical experts say psychosis is a severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality.

The condition results in difficulties telling what is real and what is not, with symptoms like false beliefs and seeing or hearing things that others do not see or hear; as well as confused speech and behaviour that is not suitable for the situation.

ZBC News quotes the Public Engagement Officer of the ZIMBABWE Early Intervention in Psychosis, NEFASI MLAMBO, as saying psychosis can be treated just like other condition if detected early.

It says 12 drama groups from CHINYIKA Ward 16 and RUSIKE Ward 18 have performed before the gathering to raise awareness on mental health.

The national broadcaster says they have been focusing their plays on ways to combat stigma as well as giving communities the platform to discuss methods of dealing with mental conditions.

It says the ZIMBABWE National Association for Mental Health has organised the just ended community mental health outreach program with the help of the WELLCOME TRUST, amid scaring reports.

A 2017 story by the FINANCIAL GAZETTE weekly newspaper says some 20 percent of the country’s 14-MILLION people are mental patients.

It blames the situation on the 20 years of what it calls an economic free-fall that has had a devastating mental, emotional, and physical toll on the generality of the people facing the meltdown.

The paper quotes the World Health Organisation as saying at least ONE-MILLION-300-THOUSAND suffer from mental problems, compared to just more than 600-THOUSAND in 1999.

On the other hand, the WHO says ZIMBABWE only has 14 psychiatric experts to attend to the ONE-POINT-THREE-MILLION patients, which means there are ZERO-POINT-ZERO-EIGHT doctors per 100-THOUSAND sufferers./Sabanews/cam

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