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Social workers help fight against pandemic

2021-01-22  Loide Jason

Social workers help fight against pandemic

To help people overcome the stigma and anxiety related to Covid-19, social workers employed by the health ministry have been hard at work counselling patients and family members losing their loved ones to the dreaded pandemic. A total of 92 social workers are currently offering psychosocial support to bereaved families and patients who have contracted Covid-19.

“Social workers continue to render aftercare services to bereaved families as some struggle with post-traumatic stress. Social work interventions have reduced fears, anxieties, anger and frustrations faced by clients and their family members,” said health ministry executive director Ben Nangombe.

“Families also find it difficult to accept the Covid-19 results and that a loved one has died due to Covid-19 complications. As a result, social workers sometimes need to endure the frustrations (sometimes harsh words and threats) of clients due to the procedures of the safe management of a Covid-19 burial.”

According to Nangombe, social workers continue to provide the necessary support even though their work may be very emotionally draining as they need to counsel the families until they accept and cooperate. 
He added that about 10 social workers in the ministry have contracted the virus in the line of duty, while some were contacts of confirmed cases at home.

The ministry will continue to offer educational information on the pandemic because some professionals in the Covid-19 response also need to be equipped with effective communication skills to avoid misunderstandings and frustrations. 

“The ministry is also in the process to revise the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) on the safe management of Covid -19 burials. This will be widely distributed to have information and uniformity on burials because it will keep communities updated and possibly reduce frustration among mourners.”
ljason@nepc.com.na 
 


2021-01-22  Loide Jason

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