Findings from a mixed methods analysis of our Friendship Bench intervention in Shurugwi District have been accepted for publication in Global Mental Health. The paper explains how problem-solving therapy and peer-support delivered by village health workers is feasible and acceptable, leading to quantitative and qualitative improvements in mental health among rural Zimbabwean women. The paper concludes that scale-up of the Friendship Bench in rural areas would help close the treatment gap for common mental disorders. The paper is available here.
I’m in the process of analysing field research from our ‘Building Better Paternerships’ project. We conducted 30 interviews with households in Shurugwi District, as well as a similar amount with the Zimbabwean diaspora in the UK. One of the themes that is emerging from the work in Zimbabwe is the importance of the sharing economy to managing household food security in times of crisis. For some of the folk we interviewed, this included maintaining practices such as humwe (a Shona term for collective working parties, which often involve a social event supplemented with beer and food by the host). More to follow.