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The Ministry of Health is training psychosocial teams as it prepares for a possible eruption of ebola – Uganda

Mukono, November 14, 2018 – One of the serious neglected consequences of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is long-term mental health…

Mukono, November 14, 2018 – One of the serious neglected consequences of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is long-term mental health and psychosocial problems affecting healthcare professionals, family members, patients recovered and generally involved in response activities.

Very often these categories of intense distress, anxiety, depression and in the case of relieved patients, rejection and stigmatization of family and society are affected. In many cases this has resulted in serious illness and even death among the victims. In fact, some healthcare professionals affected by fear and anxiety in the preparatory phase of EVD in fact in Uganda have already received psychosocial support services.

As Uganda continues to prepare for the most likely import of EVD from neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), health authorities have decided to train and strategically place psychosocial teams at national and district level to address these issues when they arise. Preparatory activities in this area were initiated with the revision of the MHPSS Education Guidelines for Ebola Preparedness from the Ministry of Health (MoH), supported by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The review was followed by the focus of national law on the guidelines. National trainers are expected to cascade the training in the five high-risk areas bordering the DRC, where they will in turn train primary and healthcare professionals. This will enable district law to provide mental health and psychosocial support for survivors of directly affected families, including orphans and spouses, primarily healthcare professionals and community leaders as the need may be.

The educated law will also be able to assess and manage patients suffering from anxiety, depression, stigmatization and other psychological and psychological effects related to Ebola. In this case, community healthcare professionals will be equipped with the skills to provide psychosocial support through assessments, providing emotional support, stress management, patient referral and increased awareness and support for psychosocial healthcare services.

As district and community leaders are central to EVD preparedness and response activities, the Ministry of Health reaches them so that they fully understand and support this critical intervention. Fortunately, the MHPSS guidelines have a part on how this can be properly planned, implemented and achieved satisfactorily.

In addition to mental health and psychosocial support, MoH, WHO and partners undertake other emergency preparedness activities, including health facilities and community-based monitoring, cross-border surveillance, county assembly and testing, and ensuring that Ebola treatment units are ready to receive EVD patients.

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