Church organises health expo on managing Covid-19-related stress

In a bid to address some of the social challenges brought about by Covid-19, which continues to infect and claim lives in Zimbabwe and globally, a local church, Harvest House International (HHI), is organising a virtual health expo on managing stress induced by the pandemic.

Zimbabwe, which has been on national lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19 since March 30 currently stands at over 4, 800 confirmed positive cases with over 100 people having already succumbed to the disease.

The lockdown, which has seen many people lose jobs and sources of income has brought about untold suffering to many Zimbabweans with the country’s economy remaining under intensive care.

Speaking to CITE, expo organiser, Reverend Tafadzwanashe Nyoni, of HHI Bulawayo City Hub Four branch said they seek to help people manage day to day challenges in coronavirus era.

“The health expo is in line with the church’s vision and aims at reaching out to the communities with the love of God,” said Reverend Nyoni.

“This particular year, the expo is being held during the Covid-19 pandemic whose effect on mental health has been immense. Job losses, losing loved ones, fear, anxiety and isolation all put mental health under great pressure hence the need to address mental health.”

Reverend Nyoni said HHI has since engaged a Namibian-based Zimbabwean psychiatrist Dr. Chido Rwafa-Madzvamutse to facilitate the special expo, slated for August 15 from 1400 to 1600hours.

The expo in which at least 300 participants are expected to tune in, Reverend Nyoni said, would be broadcast on the church’s Facebook page – HHI City Hub 4 – and would be on WhatsApp Live.

Some of the topics to be covered during the expo, include dealing with stress in uncertain times, demystifying common health problems, how to help someone in psychological distress, among others.

“As I said earlier that this is in line with our HHI vision to reach out to the communities, cities and nations the event has been made online so that we reach out to everyone,” said Reverend Nyoni.

“What we have done is that the expo will be broadcasted on HHI Byo City Hub 4 (Facebook page) from 1400hrs to 1600hrs on the 15th of August 2020. To cater for those that may not have data to watch live on Facebook, at the same time we will be having a live WhatsApp chat group with the same presentation being shared.”

He further said there would be time for interaction with the specialist psychiatrist at the end of the presentations during which questions would be addressed.

“The expo will be free of charge and it will be important for participants to learn more on mental health which is a subject that has so many myths,” added Reverend Nyoni.

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