Study Finds Depression Prevalent Among Somali Health Workers

Health care workers suffer from high rates of anxiety, depression and stress because of their work with Covid-19 cases, a new study has found.

The study was presented at a health research conference in the Somali town of Garowe. Initial findings recorded a high prevalence of anxiety in the workforce at 69.3%, 46.5% for depression and 15.2% for stress.

The study used the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scales, widely used in scientific circles to measure the three emotional states. Researchers interviewed 186 health care workers in three hospitals in Mogadishu between May and August 2021.

Abdirazak Yusuf Ahmed, the study's lead author and director of the De Martino Hospital, the main Covid-19 medical facility in Mogadishu, said several factors played a role in the prevalence of these traumatic experiences in the health care workforce.

Since March 16, 2020, when the first case was detected, Somalia recorded 1,340 Covid-19 deaths and 26,203 positive cases, at a fatality rate of 5.1%. But independent studies and press reports argued that Covid-19 deaths in Somalia have been enormously undercounted.

The discovery of personal health challenges among frontline workers comes at a time when the country lacks enough health care workforce to provide services.

It said the gap affects all components of the health system, ranging from service delivery, health workforce, health information systems, access to essential medicines, financing and leadership, policy and governance, writes Harun Maruf for Voice of America.

InFocus

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