KIU, Western Campus – Kampala International University’s Research Ethics Committee (REC) has approved a KIU Teaching Hospital study aimed at assessing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown on the mental health of hospital workers.
The study is being conducted in eight hospitals all over the country including KIU Teaching Hospital and Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital in Western Uganda, Masaka and Mubende hospitals in the central region, Gulu and Lira hospitals in the North and Mbale and Jinja regional referral hospitals in the East.
According to Dr Jimmy Ben Forry, a psychiatrist at KIU Teaching Hospital and one of the lead researchers in the study, it is aimed at identifying the stress factors that come with the pandemic and the lockdown that came as a stop-gap measure to control it.
“We want to assess the levels of psychological distress the hospital workers are going through and their effect on the quality of life of the workers,” Dr Forry said.
“The information we get from the study will help us to get measures and strategies for ensuring adequate mental health among hospital workers and specifically health workers in hospitals,” he added.
The hospital has provided the hospital workers in the eight hospitals with self-administered forms on the internet, which they can fill out. Results from the study are expected to be released at the end of this month, according to Dr Forry.
Health workers’ mental health became a sore point for the health care set up all over the world after medical workers’ struggles with mental instability came into the spotlight following the suicide of the Medical Director of the Emergency Department of New York-Pennsylvania Allen Hospital, Dr Lorna Breen.