Tafadzwa Kadye – Supporting Mental Health Facilities During COVID-19

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Tafadzwa Kadye
tafkadye@gmail.com

Zimbabwe Heath Training Support The Zimbabwe Health Training Support (ZHTS)
is a UK-based group of doctors, nurses and health professionals supporting health workers in Zimbabwe founded in 2006 by Zimbabweans in the UK. The charity provides training to healthcare professionals/providers in Zimbabwe. Overhead costs are kept to a minimal and no one within ZHTS is paid; every penny raised goes towards supporting health
professional training. Since 2014, ZHTS has provided training in psychiatric hospitals to 200 midwifes, 50 mental health workers and 250 paediatricians and nurses. A recent project based in Binga trained nurses at the local hospital on mental health, sexual health and paediatrics. Training is tailored to support the needs of the communities, with healthcare workers encouraged to voice their needs.

As the COVID-19 pandemic hits communities worldwide, devastating some, many of those living with mental health have been disproportionately affected. Many people are unable to access basic food, personal protective equipment (PPE) and other essentials; in times like these, those struggling with mental illness are often marginalised. The facilities that support them which are usually under-resourced anyway are often the last to get any additional support. In April this year, ZHTS trustee Dorcas Gwata, Global Health Consultant (featured in HoM March 2020 issue) and I set out to raise funds to support mental health facilities in Zimbabwe. In her role as a global health consultant, and mine as an MSc student in Global Health and Development as well as being ZHTS members and Zimbabweans in the UK, supporting communities affected by global health issues is a passion for us.

The ZHTS COVID19 Fundraiser

The aim of this specific fundraiser is to support Tirivanhu and Tariro, two mental health facilities based in Zimbabwe that house individuals living with mental illness. Tirivanhu supports 13 patients and Tariro, 34 patients. Donations are used to purchase food, daily essentials and PPE where needed. Since the fundraiser began, over £500 has been raised to support mental health facilities. This money has gone towards buying food, toiletries and
PPE for patients.

A massive thank you to all those that have donated so far!

How to get involved:

• Donate! Although the initial fundraiser has closed, the donation period has been extended
using a Just Giving page to provide ongoing support. The typical cost to feed 50 patients, staff and to supply fuel to get food is £65-70.

Donate here:: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/communitymentalhealthzimbabwe?utm_term=zpv6nM4DK

• Become a regular supporter of ZHTS by becoming a member or donating through the Virgin Money Giving page. Download the membership form or contact Tafadzwa by email at: tafkadye@gmail.com
• If you are a health professional and keen to offer your skills to support training in project by ZHTS in Zimbabwe then you can complete this survey.

About the Organisers

Dorcas Gwata was born in Zimbabwe. She is a Global Health Consultant working in London, and a visiting lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Her research explores inter-sectional issues of youth violence, mental health and inequalities. She’s also the co-founder of the Global Health Café, an innovative African-led platform for health enthusiasts in London.

Tafadzwa Kadye was also born in Zimbabwe. She is a global health and development graduate with an interest in health policy, sexual health and mental health. Currently a research officer in the London borough of Waltham Forest, Tafadzwa has previously produced a policy review on the uptake of WHO recommendations for HIV testing, assisted in a research project for youth violence, interned at Body & Soul Charity working within their public health department and volunteered with the Global Health
Café.

Trustees: Chris Dzikiti,(Chair), Charles Todd, Dalia Majongwe, Kate Adams, John Cookson, Brighton Chireka.

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