The Catholic University of Malawi, through the Directorate of Research and Publication, on Thursday, 14th October, 2021 organized a Public Lecture on the impact of Covid-19 on mental health. Presented by a mental health expert, Associate Professor Chiwoza Bandawe, from Kamuzu College of Health Science, the lecture highlighted various dimensions of mental health and how these had been negatively impacted by the pandemic.
Among other details, Professor Bandawe reported that about 1 billion people across the globe were living with different forms of mental disorder. Common mental illnesses include depression and anxiety.
Chiwoza bemoaned the paucity of trained personnel to offer mental health services in Malawi. He shocked the audience when he revealed that, currently there were only four trained and registered psychiatrists in the country. He, therefore, called upon the government and other stakeholders to invest more resources in efforts to address mental health problems in the country.
Speaking after the Public Lecture, the Director of Academic Affairs at the University, Fr. Dr. Wilfred Sumani said COVID-19 had affected staff and students in many ways, including the loss of two prominent academic staff members.
“People have lost jobs. Some of our students have lost their parents or guardians. Such students are now struggling with school fees,” said Fr. Sumani.
The Directorate of Research and Publications, currently headed by Mr. Hopkins Kawaye, is mandated to promote research and publication as strategies for advancing academic excellence at the University.