PARIRENYATWA Psychiatric Hospital got a timely boost from Ecobank Zimbabwe receiving a donation of medical sundries.
The gratuity consisting of medicines, equipment among other things was worth USD40 000.
Speaking at the handover ceremony on Tuesday, Health and Child Care Deputy Minister Dr John Mangwiro thanked Ecobank for the donation.
“I was saying the drugs that help young people reduce the craving need to be manufactured locally. I can see here some of the drugs here were manufactured by CAPS Pharmaceuticals. So I want to thank Ecobank for buying these medicines,” he said.
He also said it was important for communities not to stigmatise people with mental health issues.
Ecobank Zimbabwe Chairperson Mr Emmanuel Gwatidzo said included in the donation, part of their Ecobank Day, were medicines to last the Psychiatric Hospital a year.
“Today we will be making donation to the Pari Psychiatry Hospital commonly known as the Annex Facility of the following items to assist in the treatment and care of patients .These items are ; To mention but a few – assorted Medicines to last 1 year, 40 medical beds , assorted medical equipment , disinfectants, plates and cups, Water buckets,” he said.
He noted that with research showing that a quarter of every population suffer from mental illness, it was baffling that stigma is still rife.
“Research has shown that most people have a chance of having a mental health illness in their lives . Now , the big question is, why is it that we don’t talk much about mental illness in our everyday life. Why is there so much stigma and shame attached to mental illness? When people think about a person with a physical injury, we show empathy and support towards them.
“Mental illness is a mental injury and just because we can’t see the wounds and the pain doesn’t make it any less of a struggle and less debilitating for the person. I challenge each one of you to join in raising awareness on busting the myths surrounding mental illness and tackling Stigma and discrimination in your communities,” Mr Gwatidzo said.
Dr Fungi Mazhandu, the psychiatrist at the Hospital said it was time to talk and act against shunning people who display mental illnesses in communities.
“If we put it in our local language it is chirwere chepfungwa, meaning it is just being sick, like any other illness. We have the Ministry of Health, the Government, us at Parirenyatwa the tertiary institution and Ecobank, a private partner partnership. means we can hold hands to raise awareness. And hopefully this will trickle down beyond raising awareness which is to talk.
“But it is very much more important to act after raising awareness. So that when we say bring patients so that we treat them, when they go back into their communities they are embraced and contribute to their society,” she said.
Zimbabwe OCD Trust Founding CEO Mrs Angelica Mkorongo also thanked Ecobank for their noble gesture of reaching out to people with mental illnesses.