Study Reveals Mental Health Burden Among Health Workers – 93.3 KFM

By Ritah Kemigisa

A study from the Aga Khan University showed that one in four healthcare professionals show signs of depression.

Conducted in all 47 counties of Kenya, the Protecting Wellbeing and Building Resilience of Frontline Health Workers study also found that two out of five health workers show symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Funded by the Johnson and Johnson Foundation, the research project aimed to highlight the mental health status and resilience of frontline health workers in Kenya.

Dr Eunice Ndirangu-Mugo, Dean, School of Nursing and Midwifery, East Africa, AKU, says nearly 4,000 nurses, midwives and community health volunteers were surveyed between January 2021 and June 2022.

She cites heavy workload, lack of resources, poor working environment, irregular salary payments among nurses and midwives and lack of salaries for community volunteers as some of the main drivers of health problems. mental.

She adds that a focus on self-care and peer support is needed to tackle the mental health issues faced by frontline health workers.

“However, for frontline health workers to be able to support themselves and their peers, they must be able to identify their own psychological needs as well as those of their peers. Additionally, there is a need to train mental health practitioners who can then be deployed across the health system to provide mental support as needed. These require concerted investment by government and partners to ensure that such mental health interventions for frontline healthcare workers are met. said Dr Ndirangu-Mugo.

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