It being about six to seven months since the declaration and nationnwide imposition of the National Covid-19 Lockdown recommended by the World Health Organisation internationally to help curb the spread of Covid-19 infection, because of the relaxation and variation of the Lockdown conditions, the Society for Pre and Post Natal Services (SPANS) has noted with great concern how most people seem to have adopted a relaxed and carefree attitude towards observing the prescribed preventative guidelines. Observations at most shopping centres and any public places within the urban residential locations go to show how many citizens now disregard the use of face masks, practising social distancing or even the use of hand sanitisers at shop entrances. Most citizens seem to only use face masks when visiting places where they are likely to meet Enforceent agents, like when going to shopping centres which are closely monitored by the police or when going to clinics or shops where they will not be attended without face masks , or when travelling to the Central Business District where they can’t board ZUPCO buses without face masks. People also seem to crowd inside shops, on bus queues or when mixing and mingling at drinking places with totally no regard for social distancing. All this creates a conducive breeding ground for the unfettered spread of Covid-19 infections, bringing to nought all the prior combative efforts and erasing all the gains made to date in the containment of the pandemic.
In view of all the aforesaid observations, SPANS, taking up the Inter-Ministerial Task Force’s call for behaviour change in the fight against the pandemic, undertook to take the call for total acceptance and adoption of the “new normal” as one of the key messages disseminated to the community during this Community Mental Health Awareness campaign.
SPANS COVID-19 COMMUNITY FAMILY MENTAL HEALTH RESPONSE PROGRAMME IN THE GOROMONZI DISTRICT OF MASHONALAND EAST PROVINCE OF ZIMBABWE
The greatest appreciation goes to the Ember our funding partner and our line Ministry of Health and Child Care for the unwavering technical and moral support they have always given to all the programmes and initiatives that SPANS comes up with, including this SPANS Mobile Covid-19 Community Family Mental Health Awareness Response which was necessitated by the incidence of the devastating global Covid-19 pandemic. Much support was forthcoming from the Secretary for Health and Child Care, the Deputy Director for Mental Health, Dr. Chirisa, and also from Mrs. Siyame in the formulation and facilitation of the necessary bureaucratic communications necessary for the finalization and approval of the programme.
It has been reliably noted by the SPANS Team members in their interactions with society that there is a widespread misunderstanding among the general public about the difference between “Mental Health” and “Mental illness,” a misunderstanding which the outreach team sought to clarify and provide accurate information in all the communities reached and also over all communications made through all media.
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