Mbabane: The Minister of Health, Lizzy Nkosi has forthrightly stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has come hard on her as the minister directly responsible for health care in the country, but even so, she soldiers on.
The minister said the COVID-19 pandemic is a new thing in the country and has led authorities to adopt new patterns to deal with it, something that inevitably comes with an element of shock.
Nevertheless, the minister said the current Cabinet has shown resilience as well as determination to overcome the pandemic. Nkosi said as Cabinet they are open to learn new things which include relying on the media to properly analyse and disseminate the right information on the situation concerning the novel coronavirus.
The minister went on to say that she has droves of people who are backing and praying for her to continue with the fight against the disease amid the challenges government is faced with. “As a ministry, we have a prayer group, which comes together and pray concerning the pandemic situation,” said the minister, adding that prayer ministers across the country have called her and pledged their support.
“I have learnt to take the COVID-19 situation one step at a time which has proved to be working and less stressful,” said the minister. Nkosi said she has been an overcomer even in the midst of stressful environments such as these.
Meanwhile, a new research has revealed that in the UK half of health workers are suffering mental health problems such as stress and trauma as a result of dealing with Covid-19.
The pandemic is having a “severe impact” on the mental wellbeing of NHS personnel as well as agency staff, GPs and dentists, with rates of anxiety and burnout also running far higher than usual. 50 percent of 996 healthcare workers questioned across the UK said their mental health had deteriorated since the virus began taking its toll.
It is said this emerged as the biggest impact on staff, just ahead of worries about their family’s safety because of a lack of testing and protective equipment for NHS workers (49 percent) and concern about their ability to ensure that patients receive high-quality care when the NHS is so busy (43 percent). As many as 71 percent of younger health professionals, who are likely to be inexperienced and early in their careers, said their mental health had deteriorated. More women were affected than men.
Just 30 percent of staff felt that the government was doing enough to protect their mental health; 42 percent said too little was being done, including 43 percentof those working in hospitals.
The survey findings come amid rising concern that the unprecedented challenges of treating so many people who are seriously unwell or dying will have a catastrophic mental effect on staff, including those working in intensive care and elsewhere developing post-traumatic stress disorder.
The IPPR is concerned that the psychological demands of working in the NHS during the pandemic are also an important reason why its research found that as many as one in five staff may quit. The higher rates of burnout and stress at the frontline are a key factor, it says. Health staff cited greater support for their mental health (60%) than improved access to testing for coronavirus. NHS bodies across the UK have increased the availability of mental health help, especially online.