Scores of health care workers, including doctors and nurses, are breaking down under the weight of stressful working conditions that potentially lead to long-term anxiety-related disorders.
These could also result in individuals suffering from depression and post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD), while others might commit suicide.
Mashonaland West provincial mental health officer, Tichaona Mahachi said despite being trained in health issues, workers in the sector were heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Covid-19 came with implications on mental health on our health workers, despite them being trained personnel with deep knowledge on health issues.
“They also suffered from stress-related disorders, anxiety-related disorders and post-traumatic stress disorders,” he said.
Mahachi was addressing journalists and various stakeholders on Monday during an interactive meeting organised by Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) in Chinhoyi focusing on the impact of the pandemic.
Mahachi said anxiety among health professionals was triggered by the sight of dead bodies, infected and affected people, among other causes internal and external.
“Anxiety comes about when you see someone infected or someone who has tested positive and then you ask yourself ‘am l also safe, is my family or colleague safe from the disease?’
“This alone generates a level of anxiety where people are then affected. Stress can be emotional or physical, and of internal or external origin,” he added. —NewZimbabwe