Health experts raise alarm

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©️  SENIOR doctors have raised concern over stigmatisation of people diagnosed with coronavirus (Covid-19), saying this was discouraging and forcing people to lie about their health symptoms.
This comes at a time when the country is battling to contain the spread of the disease, which has so far claimed over 300 000 lives globally. Zimbabwe currently has 42 confirmed cases four deaths and 13 recoveries.
“Stigmatising Covid-19 will throw us backwards by 30 years when the same was done for HIV. It results in blanket self-preservation lies. People may now be lying about their symptoms and contacts,” the Zimbabwe Senior Hospital Doctors Association (ZSHDA) said.
This comes as some families with individuals who have tested positive for Covid-19 are being ostracised in communities that they live.
According to senior doctors, there was no need for people to stigmatise against one another because of the pandemic.

 

“Let us love one another. We are one. Covid-19 positive or not, we are still Zimbabweans,” ZSHDA said.
Recently, a Ruwa man, who, together with some family members, tested positive before getting a clean bill of health, came out in the open, claiming his family was suffering stigma, which resulted in them remaining in “self-isolation” even after they recovered.
Another Bulawayo family, also claimed that it was being stigmatised by the community following rumours that one of their family members had died from coronavirus.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently said healthcare workers in Covid-19 centres were likely to fall prey to stigmatisation because they are working on the frontline.
“Some healthcare workers may, unfortunately, experience avoidance by their family or community owing to stigma or fear. This can make an already challenging situation far more difficult. If possible, staying connected with your loved ones, including through digital methods, is one way to maintain contact. Turn to your colleagues, your manager or other trusted persons for social support — your colleagues may be having similar experiences to you,” WHO said in a statement.

 

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