Glory Conferences Includes Tiyambuke International Christian Convention, His Glory Men's Conference, Mega Kidz Conference and Her Glory Women's Conference - Glory Conferences


Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Stigmatisation During The Covid-19 Era with Doctor Sacrifice Chirisa

In the 1980s and 90s people used to shun those suffering from HIV/AIDS calling them all sorts of names and fast forward to 2020, the scenario is the same, but this time the victims of such actions are patients of Covid-19.


Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) Deputy Director, Mental Health Services, Dr Sacrifice Chirisa who has recovered from Covid-19 speaks about stigma and discrimination and how it affects the patient.

“One of the things that I want to speak about is the stigma, that is the reason why I volunteered to come out being a medical health practitioner and a doctor.

“Look, I had Covid-19 and it was not my fault. I did not do anything, there is nobody to blame,” said Dr Chirisa.
Stigmatisation During The Covid-19 Era with Doctor Sacrifice Chirisa

Dr Chirisa advised people to treat those who get infected with Covid-19 as human beings and to stop calling them names.

“There are a lot of people that are going to get Covid-19 and they need to be treated like people, I have heard some people calling names such as ‘Covid Centres, epicentres, even saying those who once suffered from Covid-19 should be held with gloves and things like that’ but I am saying that discrimination and stigmatisation of somebody who has suffered or going through Covid-19 is very bad,” said the Deputy Director of Mental Health Services.

Dr Chirisa said Covid-19 patients need care from their loved ones and the society in general and that stigmatisation should not be tolerated as the pandemic is still spreading.

“At that point, all you need is support, care and to know that somebody cares about you instead of being stigmatised.

“That’s why I came out so that we try to break the stigma, this thing (Covid-19) is exploding and I hope more people will actually come out to speak about their experiences,” noted Dr Chirisa.

Speaking from personal experience, Dr Chirisa stated that even your friends will be scared to get too close to you for their own safety.

I had numerous thoughts, I was not sleeping properly, I was quiet and did not want to talk. Those are the things that will happen to you when you are in isolation, you are all by yourself. I had friends who came and they would bring supplies of medication or something like that and they would literally throw the medication over the gate and they would stand way there.

“The most difficult thing that went through my mind was the psycho-social aspect, I was in the top thousand in the country probably the first medical doctor to test positive and I was afraid. The first thing that I was afraid of was dying after having seen people in hospitals in Italy and China, even locally who were dying,” said Dr Chirisa.

Some people seem to have relaxed in safeguarding themselves against contracting Covid-19 by not wearing masks in public places as well as not practising hand washing or sanitising. Dr Chirisa advised against complacency as the pandemic is wreaking havoc.
Stigmatisation During The Covid-19 Era with Doctor Sacrifice Chirisa

“I want to say Covid-19 is real, lets continue to practice safe habits, sanitising, use of face masks, social/physical distancing that is very key and for those that are suffering at home try to restructure your life that’s what I did during isolation…read a book, watch a movie, find yourself something to do,” concluded Dr Chirisa.

Unity of purpose and treating each other as human beings is very important during the pandemic as it will create the critical mass needed to combat the pandemic. Stigmatisation and name calling does not help anyone, but it will psychologically affect those infected with Covid-19 thereby jeopardising their recovery rates.

Gallery Of Pictures: Conference Speakers At Tiyambuke 2018

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