Malawi: Feed the Children to Help Women Suffering From Depression

Lilongwe — Feed the Children through the Tiwalere 2 Project, will start implementing a project which will provide interpersonal therapy for women aimed at reducing depression among them.

Speaking during a meeting aimed at briefing the Lilongwe District Health Management Team on the project Wednesday, Feed the Children Central Zone Manager, Mark Liwonde, said the intervention will attend to women who have suffered different traumatic experiences.

Liwonde said the project aims at reducing depression and other psychosocial problems as well as improving the quality of an individuals's social and interpersonal functioning.

Liwonde said through their research, it showed that women are mostly affected by psychosocial problems.

Targeting women in Traditional Authority Chitseka in Lilongwe, the project also aims at improving the nutrition status of women, adolescent girls and children less than five years of age by 2021.

"We came up with the intervention after noticing that women in the targeted area do not participate fully in nutritional issues, hygiene and sanitation activities due to depression as a result of their life challenges life.

"A person with depression has difficulty in operations, which affects him or her. We are targeting women who, as revealed by research, are victims of such," Liwonde said.

He said once healed, the women are expected to be able to concentrate on their families and reduce malnutrition cases.

Liwonde explained that the identified depressed women will be put in groups of six to 10 and will be requested to meet for 16 weeks, 90 minutes every week.

"In the groups, they will be able to share their experiences and challenges. Trained personnel will help on how to deal with the problems. There will also be one-on-one interaction with the facilitators," he added.

He further said tools will be used to measure if there is improvement or not and if one shows severe mental disorders, they will be referred to professionals in the field.

Mental Health Coordinator for Lilongwe District Health Office, Emma Mangasi commended the initiative, saying it is a step towards reducing the depression which affects many lives.

"As a Mental Health Specialist, I am happy that women will now have the platform where they will be able to share their experiences freely and will be helped to heal them," she said.

On her part, Director of Health Services, Alinafe Mbewe who is also chairperson for District Health Management team welcomed the initiative and hoped many women would be assisted.

"My work is to monitor the welfare of people in Lilongwe and I am urging the organisation to put much effort in the project to achieve the intended purpose," Mbewe said.

She warned the organisation against working to impress the donors.

"Work to serve lives of those affected and give a true reflection of what is on the ground," she said.

The project targets women under the age of 30, those with young ones, lactating, those from low income families and with low education levels.

More From: Malawi News Agency

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