Sierra Leone in great distress after mudslides

Sierra Leone mudslidesFrom TETEH KAMARA in Freetown, Sierra Leone
FREETOWN, (CAJ News) – HUNDREDS of survivors in Sierra Leone have developed mental disorders as they struggle to come to terms with mudslides whose death toll is estimated at 1 000.
A month after the disaster, over 800 people are still missing and buried in the rubble. Other corpses have been washed away into the Atlantic Ocean.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) is making frantic efforts to help survivors overcome the trauma emanating from the tragedy in Freetown.
“We are seeing people with depressive disorders, severe anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder,” said Hawanatu Foday, a mental health nurse.
“They (victims) panic when it starts to rain. They feel highly insecure.”
Hawanatu said the psychological effect of the devastation was becoming even clearer, including among children.
Many have lost parents, family members and their homes, in the spate of just a single event.
A large number of the displaced families are camped in tents at locations set up by the government.
Many children are being accommodated by charitable organizations. Over 150 children, mainly orphans, have been taken into a children’s home where a clinical psychologist has been brought in to provide effective
psychological support.
Dr Florence Baingana, WHO mental health specialist, said, “Allowing people to express their feelings and helping them identify their coping mechanisms can offer relief and prevent more severe conditions occurring.”
The mudslides came as the West African country was reeling from an Ebola outbreak that claimed some 4 000 lives.
CAJ News

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Posted by on Sep 15 2017. Filed under Africa & World, Featured, National, Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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