The south-south geopolitical zone consists of 6 states: Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Cross Rivers and Akwa Ibom. As at 2nd of May 2020, Edo State has recorded 47 confirmed cases, Delta has 17, Bayelsa with 5, Rivers State 14 and no confirmed case in Cross Rivers State. The cases of health professionals exposed to the virus have also been on the increase.
This Pandemic has affected our mental health directly and indirectly from the challenges that come with the compulsory sit at home and the lock down of businesses to the maintaining of physical and social distance. While we commend the efforts of the government and NGOs for their role in ensuring we contain the virus, we note that the mental health aspects that may arise from this pandemic like anxiety, depression, aggression and complications of bereavement may not have received the necessary professional attention and intervention. I have partnered and worked with the Medical Women’s Association in Edo State with the plan of extending this collaboration to all the other States in the zone. We set up an online mental health wellness clinic where members can make calls and talk with a mental health professional on any mental health concerns.
We therefore recommend that mental health professionals should be a part of the COVID-19 Committee in each State and should be available in pre and post counseling of patients prior and after testing. With all hands on deck we look forward to fighting this virus as we all keep safe and adhere to all hygienic precautions.
Dr Ehi Isa.
South South Zonal Coordinator