THE Society for Pre and Postnatal Services (Spans) in collaboration with the International Marce Society (IMS) is raising awareness on maternal mental health in a bid to show the importance of protecting pregnant women before and after labour.
Spans is training health professionals and educating the public on how to handle mental health issues during pregnancies.
Spans founder, Linos Muvhu said the society aims to promote, facilitate and communicate about research into all aspects of the mental health of women, their partners, infants and families throughout pregnancy and the first two years after giving birth.
“This involves a broad range of research activities ranging from basic science through to health services and development of best practice care and prevention.
“Our organisation is multidisciplinary and encourages involvement from all disciplines including psychiatrists, psychologists, paediatricians, obstetricians, midwives, nurses and early childhood specialists,” said Muvhu.
He said they realised the services for perinatal mental health within some parts of Africa are fragmented and sometimes resources are sparse so they invite experts in perinatal mental health from other countries to encourage best practice and to facilitate collaborative working.
“Our wealth of expertise in perinatal mental health is drawn from our experiences in the fields of counselling, campaigning, holistic medicine… and lived experience.
“Our training is available online through webinars or face to face when allowed. Our passion is to deliver all the perinatal mental health training needed.
“We realised that there is need for more research to be done in the area on maternal mental health throughout Africa and also there is need to research the gap between screening and treatment access as it is critical in maternal mental health,” Muvhu told the Daily News.
IMS is dedicated to supporting research and assistance surrounding prenatal and postpartum mental health for mothers, fathers and their babies and their overall mission is to sustain an international perinatal mental health community to promote research and high-quality clinical care around the world.