Zimbabwe in need of mental health research funding

Rutendo Ngara

ZIMBABWE is in dire need of research funding on mental health in response to high cases of mental health problems and excessive drug abuse in the country, it has emerged. 

Addressing the media ahead of a Mental Health Pandora Expo set for Saturday in Harare, CIMAS public health and awareness officer Godknows Muperekedzwa yesterday said Zimbabwe was lagging behind in terms of research and that information used in the Health ministry psychiatric department was inadequate.

“We do not have organic authentic research in Zimbabwe. It is another barrier because there is no investment in research, some statistics are obtained from the Internet and they are localised. It was taboo to talk about depression back in the days, actually the world we are living in evokes depression and mental health problems. Some of the causes are price hikes, incomes and unemployment,” said Muperekedzwa, describing mental health as a “silent pandemic which most people are taking for grunted”.

The Expo will be hosted by National Education and Cultural Trust of Zimbabwe (NECTZ) in conjunction with Women’s Gallaries and it aims to raise awareness and promote funding.

Speaking at the same occasion, Young People Mental Health (YPMH) director Tawanda Murepa said his organisation was working tirelessly to raise awareness about dangerous drugs being used by youths in the country.

“Mutoriro and guka are the most used illegal drugs mostly by youths. My organisation is working hand in hand with youths especially in schools, educating them and raising awareness about mental health issues. This is basically due to depression and mental disorder because you can not be intoxicated daily,” he said.

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