University Teaching Hospital (UTH) Psychiatrist Registrar Naeem Dalal has revealed that there is a direct and indirect impact of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) outbreak on people’s mental health wellbeing.
Dr. Dalal explained that both the adults and young ones are overwhelmed by the changes in their daily life styles because of the factors that have come with COVID-19.
He said many adults have been affected by economic stress because many people have lost their jobs hence are restless about how they are going to provide for their families.
Dr. Dalal added that even the very preventive measures imposed on the general public to ensure that they adhere to the five golden rules are stressful because some households cannot afford to buy hygiene products, while some have little or no access to clean water.
He further stated that the pandemic has also had an effect on children as COVID-19 has affected the school calendar.
He noted that children, just like any other human being, are expected to observe the public health guidelines hence distressing their mental health.
And Dr. Dalal has indicated that the COVID-19 mental wellbeing becomes worse for those that contract the virus as they become restless and can also develop panic attacks because of the fear of how deadly the disease has been proclaimed.
He disclosed that every one out of five people with COVID-19 end up developing mental health challenges while others suffer from post-traumatic disorder between four to five months after suffering from the virus.
The Psychiatrist Registrar stated that some COVID-19 victims who end up as patients in health facilities do develop anxiety or clinical depression because of what they witness when admitted.
“The preventive measures that have been put in place are causing a lot of challenges within the economic community. A lot of people are losing jobs because of COVID-19 hence creating challenges in homes, including gender based violence and interpersonal violence within communities,” Dr. Dalal explained.
He noted that all these issues are correlated to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and its severity as it evolves.
And Dr. Dalal has stressed the need for people to look out for one another in an effort to protect themselves saying the virus has brought in irritable life changes on everyone’s lifestyle.
He reiterated the importance of concerted efforts and adherence towards the health guidelines as advised by the Ministry of Health in the fight against COVID-19.
Dr. Dalal was speaking on ZNBC TV during the ‘Doctor On Air’ live programme under the topic ‘mental health and COVID-19’.
Zambia has recorded 1,161 new COVID-19 cases out of 11,700 tests carried out. A total of five deaths have been recorded in the last 24 hours.
Among the new 1,161 COVID-19 cases, 191 patients are receiving treatment in health care facilities with 112 on oxygen support while only 86 people have been discharged.