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PERSPECTIVE/VIEWPOINT - COUNTRY/REGIONAL
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 97-99

Psychosocial Response to COVID-19 in Africa, with Special Reference to Kenya


1 University of Nairobi; Africa Mental Health Research and Training Foundation, Nairobi, Kenya
2 Africa Mental Health Research and Training Foundation, Nairobi, Kenya

Correspondence Address:
Prof. David M Ndetei
University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya; Africa Mental Health Research and Training Foundation, Nairobi
Kenya
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/WSP.WSP_47_20

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On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) outbreak a global pandemic. The coronavirus has affected different aspects of people's lives in different ways from physical isolation, job losses, schools, offices shutting down, etc., These changes have had an impact on people's emotional, psychological, spiritual, and physical well-being. The country has seen 2021 infections, 482 recoveries, and 69 people succumbing due to coronavirus as of May 31, 2020. The Kenyan government has taken measures to stop the spread of the disease, but this has come with its challenges as a large number of Kenyans rely on day-to-day income, live in shared accommodation, thus making social distancing a nearly impossible task to achieve. These factors among others have raised the fears of the expected impact on psychosocial needs and response during the COVID-19 period. It is likely that governments have focused on how to stop the spread of coronavirus and finding a cure, that attention on the psychosocial impact of the coronavirus has not been given the needed attention. This review has been done to examine the psychosocial responses undertaken by the Kenyan government and its stakeholders during the COVID-19 pandemic. The gaps likely to be felt by vulnerable populations have also been examined. There is a need to develop measures that will address the psychosocial stressors faced by the vulnerable populations. There will be a need for mental health services long after COVID-19 is managed and a working vaccine is developed; thus, the development and implementation of integrative treatment and services is imperative.


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