THE Women’s Coalition in Zimbabwe (Wcoz) has since called on the government to improve psychosocial and counselling support for people diagnosed with the lethal coronavirus (Covid-19) as many are currently grappling with societal stigmatisation.
This comes as the country’s confirmed Covid-19 cases are nearing
5 000, including 128 deaths and 1 927 recoveries.
In its latest situation report on the Covid-19 induced national lockdown, Wcoz warned that stigma could reverse the gains of mitigating the spread of Covid-19 as people might resort to hiding their illness in a bid to avoid stigmatisation.
“We therefore continue to call upon the government to deploy social workers and community case care workers to address heightened household and community level need for psychosocial support and strengthened social cohesion practices,” Wcoz further said.
The women’s organisation also bemoaned increasing gender-based violence (GBV) cases and the high probability of adolescent girls’ exposure to sexual exploitation and child marriages during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This comes as the country’s GBV cases have significantly increased with Musasa Project recently revealing that its centres have assisted over 10 849 violence survivors since the beginning of the Covid-19 induced national lockdown.
“Our networks in different grassroots networks continue to raise distress over the increasing rate of gender-based violence and the need to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse in adolescent girls.