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Rwanda Journal of Medicine and Health Sciences

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Climate Change and Mental Health: New Model of Managing Mental Health Illness Resulting From Climate Change Events. Rwanda Perspective

Noel Korukire, Laura Bozzi, Gilbert Banamwana, Liliane Birasa, Marie Claire Ineza, Liberatha Rumagihwa, Emelyne Umutoni Cishahayo, Isabelle Kayitesi, Memunat Oyiza Akanbi

Abstract


Hazards resulting from climate change jeopardize human in one way or  another. Annually countless deaths, physical injuries, and the collapse of houses, among other consequences, are reported as negative effects associated to climate change events. There is no doubt that these effects are followed by mental health problems which requires the continuation of care after the emergency situation. This paper aimed at highlighting how climate change hazards in Rwanda might be followed by unidentified mental health illness, and proposed a model for proper management. The authors reviewed different literatures to inform their views about the issue and appreciate the efforts being done by the Government to manage  immediate mental health problems resulting from climate change hazards for the victims. The authors suggested the need for the continuation of mental health care services after an emergency and that these services be provided by Community Health Workers who live day to day with victims. This will benefit not only the victims but also other people who might be having mental health issues within the community. The Authors recommend further research to document the impact of climate change on mental health and magnitude of the problem in Rwanda.
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Keywords: Climate change, Hazards, Mental Health



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