Article

The Psychological Distress and Mental Health Disorders from COVID-19 Stigmatization in Ghana

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... Recent findings suggest that some COVID-19 survivors and their family members are rejected by their neighbors, landlords and even employers in China [10]. Certain sub-populations such as persons suspected of having COVID-19, discharged individuals from quarantine, and people returning from overseas also experience various forms of stigmatization including social exclusion, stereotyping and being insulted [2]. Individuals suffering from social stigma may feel ashamed of themselves, and experience self-condemning behaviour or persistent fear of contacting their relatives and friends [10,17]. ...
... COVID-19 related stigma can lead to a range of negative consequences such as psychological stress [2], discrimination [18,39], health-related violence [8,42] and, worst of all, suicide [56] for affected populations including COVID-19 survivors, suspected or quarantined cases, and people returning from overseas. In addition, COVID-19-related stigma [25] could become a barrier to the control and prevention of COVID-19 because people who experience high levels of stigma are less likely to disclose their health status [2], thus deterring professional help-seeking behaviors [17], and refusing to take COVID-19 tests [19]. ...
... COVID-19 related stigma can lead to a range of negative consequences such as psychological stress [2], discrimination [18,39], health-related violence [8,42] and, worst of all, suicide [56] for affected populations including COVID-19 survivors, suspected or quarantined cases, and people returning from overseas. In addition, COVID-19-related stigma [25] could become a barrier to the control and prevention of COVID-19 because people who experience high levels of stigma are less likely to disclose their health status [2], thus deterring professional help-seeking behaviors [17], and refusing to take COVID-19 tests [19]. As stated by the WHO director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, "stigma, to be honest, is more dangerous than the [corona] virus itself" [68]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is closely associated with physical and mental health problems; however, little is known about the severity of stigma caused by COVID-19 among its survivors. Thus, the aim of this study was to compare differences in stigma experiences of COVID-19 survivors versus healthy controls after the COVID-19 outbreak peak in China. Methods This cross-sectional study comprised 154 COVID-19 survivors and 194 healthy controls recruited through consecutive and convenience sampling methods, respectively. COVID-19 related stigma was measured by the Social Impact Scale (SIS). Stigma differences between the two groups were compared with analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and a generalized linear model (GLM) was used to identify independent correlates of COVID-19-related stigma in this study. Results Compared with healthy controls, COVID-19 survivors reported more overall stigma ( F (1,347) = 60.82, p < 0.001), and stigma in domains of social rejection ( F (1,347) = 56.54, p < 0.001), financial insecurity ( F (1,347) = 19.96, p < 0.001), internalized shame ( F (1,347) = 71.40, p < 0.001) and social isolation ( F (1,347) = 34.73, p < 0.001). Status as a COVID-19 survivor, having family members infected with COVID-19, being married, economic loss during the COVID-19 pandemic, and depressive symptoms were positively associated with higher overall stigma levels (all p values < 0.05). Conclusion COVID-19-related stigma is commonly experienced among COVID-19 survivors even though the outbreak has been well-contained in China. Routine assessment of stigma experiences should be conducted on COVID-19 survivors and appropriate psychological assistance, public education, and anti-stigma campaigns and policies should be enforced to reduce stigma within this vulnerable subpopulation.
... On the other hand, apathetic stigma relates to lack of empathy towards family members, friends, or relatives once they are infected with the illness [4]. Recent studies reported that persons discharged from quarantine, individuals infected or suspected of having COVID-19, and people returning from oversees experienced some form of stigmatization, where they were socially excluded, insulted, and stereotyped [5]. In a study of households with at least one confirmed case of COVID-19, stigmatization resulted in the reluctance of those families to disclose their coronavirus status to others and to meet people after quarantine and isolation. ...
... In Nigeria, COVID-19 stigmatization enacted by friends, colleagues, and residential communities against frontline healthcare workers resulted in the experience of emotional trauma and other psychological concerns among this group [12]. Stigma associated with COVID-19 may also cripple strategies aimed to control and prevent the spread of the pandemic as stigmatized people are less likely to disclose their health status [5], thus avoiding professional helpseeking behaviors [13], and refusing to take COVID-19 test [2]. Understanding whether stigma may impact COVID-19 testing is vital for identifying potential barriers for public health efforts to increase testing and thus, contain the disease. ...
Article
Full-text available
Stigmatization of COVID-19 disease has been speculated due to misinformation about the disease, fearing of contracting the infection, absence of available cure, and holding responsibility for infecting others. We aimed to establish the prevalence of COVID-19 related stigma and its association with empathic responding, in addition to exploring predictors of stigma and testing intention among Jordanian people. A quantitative, descriptive and predictive design was used and data were collected using a web-based survey from 1074 adults. Findings showed that participants had high stigmatization against COVID-19 infection. Higher empathic responding (both cognitive and affective), being a female participant, and older age resulted in higher stigmatization. Only stigmatization of COVID-19 negatively predicted individuals’ intention for testing. These findings warrant intensive efforts from the Jordanian government on a local and national level to provide ongoing public education related to several aspects of COVID-19 disease, in order to reduce or prevent the associated stigma and increase people’s intention for testing.
... In contrast, at the time of writing, most sub-Saharan African countries, like Ghana, have reported relatively few COVID-19-related deaths (Roser et al., 2020;Worldometer, 2021). Despite the low reported death toll, there are anecdotal reports from Ghanaians who have tested positive and recovered from COVID-19 that detail social stigmatization and psychological distress (Adom and Adu Mensah, 2020). Understanding how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Ghanaian students provides a more comprehensive and generalizable understanding of the stresses higher education students face. ...
... A recent study of higher education students in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic reported financial stress scores of 17.4 ± 5.9 (Du et al., 2021a), or roughly 10% higher. A previous study that conducted focus group discussions about academic stress with Ghanaian undergraduate students noted that many reported financial concerns were a significant source of stress (Adom and Adu Mensah, 2020). ...
Article
Full-text available
Background Stress and mental health outcomes are negatively correlated among university students throughout the world. Reports of differences in stress perception by gender exist, but there is limited data on students from sub-Saharan African countries. This study describes the burden of perceived and financial stress; characterizes mood and degree of anxiety symptoms; examines stress coping mechanisms, including resilience and repetitive negative thinking (RNT); and explores how students at a Ghanaian university believed the COVID-19 pandemic affected these measures. Methods Students (n=129) were recruited from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana from October 2020 - January 2021. Validated surveys were used. Participants were asked “Are your answers to the questions affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?” Results No differences in mean scores were observed between genders. For female students, financial stress was positively associated with RNT (p = 0.009), negative mood (p = 0.002), and anxiety (p < 0.001). Males were more likely to report decreased stress during the pandemic (p = 0.002), but there was no difference in mental health outcomes by perceived stress (PS) change category among males. Effects of the pandemic on mental health outcomes were mixed, but substantial proportions of students reported improvements or no change in financial stress, mood, anxiety, and RNT. Limitations Students from one university particiapted in this cross-sectional survey. Conclusions This study adds to the understanding of how higher education students are experiencing stress and are coping with the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana.
... Research studies on COVID-19 in Malaysia focused mostly on clinical characteristics and medical studies on the nature of the virus. 39 In Ghana, however, few studies explored the mental health of recovered COVID-19 patients 40 and health workers preparedness. 41 Overall, there is limited research on the social consequences faced by survivors of COVID-19 in both Malaysia and Ghana. ...
... This is also consistent with findings from previous studies on epidemics and its impact on the psychological wellbeing of survivors 15 and their quality of life. 47,48 Adom and Mensah 40 reports that stigmatization of COVID-19 survivors could trigger mental health outcomes including depression. ...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, we attempted to move beyond the skewed discussions on stigma to unravel other social consequences that are experienced by persons who have recovered from COVID-19. We conducted a documentary review of published news reports from 14 highly ranked news portals in Ghana and Malaysia (published between 1st January 2020 and 30th August 2020) that contained personal accounts from the recovered patients about their lived experiences with the virus and social consequences encountered after recovery. Narratives from the recovered patients were extracted and analyzed following the narrative thematic analysis procedure. Common themes identified from the narratives included: 1) Stigma impacting mental health, 2) Assault and abuse 3) Experiences of treatment. The findings show the need for interprofessional collaboration between social and health care professionals such as social workers, community health workers, medical practitioners and psychologists to prevent and address issues of abuse and other social consequences experienced by COVID-19 survivors.
... The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic did not only bring forth negative health consequences, but also social consequences like misinformation, over information, stigmatization, Tendongfor Nicholas et al. : The Impact of COVID-19 on Hospital Attendance and Perceived Stigmatization Towards Individuals with COVID-19 Like Symptoms in Buea Municipality, Cameroon discrimination, and herd behavior [4]. This has had a negative impact on the patient influx to the hospitals and brought a lot of stigma and discrimination at the community level, as well as a negative impact on the population health-seeking behaviour [5,6]. Many of the recovered patients have been denied reintegration in their communities with the perception that they may be reinfected and transmit the virus to others [7]. ...
... Patients would rather stay at home or depend on auto-medications, roadside vendors, or use home-made concoctions if they suspect COVID-19 infection [12]. The misconceptions surrounding the disease and fear of getting infected has also led to the stigmatization of patients with related symptoms [5]. This study aimed at documenting the hospital attendance and population health-seeking behaviour during the pandemic as well as assessing the level of perceived stigmatization of the population towards individuals with COVID-19 like symptoms in Buea Municipality, Cameroon. ...
... It did not exclude the fear of infecting someone or of re-infection, which in the light of the then research was not confirmed [34][35][36]. In social relations, as the respondents claimed, suspicion and distance appeared towards the sick and also the convalescents, something also noted by other researchers [6,7,37,38]. Interestingly, the respondents themselves were sometimes not sure whether they actually experienced negative reactions from their environment or just interpreted them as such because they were aware of how much people were afraid of being infected in the initial period of the pandemic [39]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The dynamic character of the COVID-19 pandemic and its social consequences caused several medical and societal issues and dilemmas. The aim of our qualitative research was to capture and analyze attitudes and beliefs of convalescents who experienced mild symptoms of COVID-19 in the first wave of the pandemic and decided to donate their plasma for therapeutic purposes. Material and methods: The article presents results of qualitative research conducted on the basis of grounded theory (GT) methodology. Empirical material includes 10 in-depth interviews conducted with respondents who had mild or asymptomatic disease and, after recovery, voluntarily donated their plasma to the Regional Centre for Blood Donation and Blood Treatment (RCKiK). Data were collected in May and June 2020 in Poland. Qualitative analysis was focused on the experience of convalescents who entered the social role of a sick person in individual, social, and organizational dimensions. Results: The social role of the patient in the narratives of convalescents was related to three stages: (1) initiation to the role, (2) staying in the COVID-19 patient role, and (3) leaving the role. Research results enabled the distinction of three basic descriptive categories ("ontological uncertainty", "the global and individual dimension", and "being sick in the disease-infected environment"), which became epistemological framework for a detailed description of the roles played by an individual COVID-19 patient during the pandemic. Conclusions: The disease, despite its mild course, generated a number of non-medical issues, and the entire process of being ill was burdened with institutional and emotional struggles. The experience of mild COVID-19 is significantly modified by disease institutionalization. These results may contribute to a better understanding of the psychosocial dimension of COVID-19 and convalescents' motivations for plasma donation.
... An additional consideration for understanding the pandemic in Japan is the role of stigmatization. Like in many countries [5,72,103] people who have been infected with COVID-19 [10,50] and healthcare workers [98] have faced discrimination. For example, staff and students at schools where infections were reported were mocked on social media and the institutions themselves reported receiving threats [114]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Article at https://jackjamieson.net/publications/ Contact tracing apps have been suggested as a promising approach towards containing viral spread during pandemics, yet their actual use in the COVID-19 pandemic has been low. While researchers have examined reasons for or against installing contact tracing apps, we have less understanding of their ongoing use and how they interact with everyday pressures related to work, communities, and mental well-being. Through a survey of 153 working people in Japan and 15 follow-up interviews, we investigated attitudes toward installing and using Japan’s national contact tracing app, COCOA, and how these related to respondents’ daily lives, work structures, and general attitudes about the pandemic. We found that motivations about installing the app differed from those related to ongoing usage. Specifically, we identified ways that people navigate uncertain norms of behaviour during the pandemic, and how people consider individual risks such as COVID-related stigmas, anxiety, and financial precarity when deciding if and how to use COCOA. In light of these, we discuss the tension between COCOA’s design and desires to protect oneself by selective controlling disclosures. We note that perceived risks are closely tied to respondents’ local contexts, and based on our analysis, we identify ways to address these challenges and tensions through design interventions at multiple scales.
... Because of the stigma, this frequently results in a loss of self-esteem, social isolation, and dignity. 24 The COVID-19 epidemic has exposed the vulnerabilities that urban refugees in Uganda face, which are similar to those that other African urban migrants face. Unlike refugees living in organized settlements monitored by Uganda's refugee agency, the Office of the Prime Minister, urban refugees do not benefit from the existing food distribution, putting their health and coping capability in jeopardy. ...
Article
Full-text available
In view of the latest COVID-19 pandemic's unprecedented major global health crisis, it is extremely vital to consider the mental effect of this rising and formidable threat on the life of humanity, which has significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. Previous research indicates that people affected by COVID-19 can have a high burden of issues with mental health, including depression, anxiety disorders, stress, sleep disorders, emotional illness, signs of post-traumatic stress, and suicidal behavior. In the background of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the outbreak entails a large-scale change in behavior and further, creates major psychological burdens on individuals, there is a growing concern to resolve the mental health issues of the general population. This review article attempts to highlight different mental health challenges faced during COVID-19 by multiple individuals. In certain settings, virtual mental health systems should be set up, and social media should be used to provide education and networking tools for mental health. Psychopathological issues in various communities should be emphasized in future epidemiological research
... The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a lot of stigmatization because the disease is new with so many unknown factors inducing fear in people resulting in their negative reaction towards the disease [4]. In many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, there are evidence of severe stigmatization of people who have recovered and those recovering from COVID-19 along with their families and close associates [5][6][7]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in global health and economic crisis. We investigated the experiences of frontline health care workers recovering from COVID-19 in Lagos State Nigeria. Methods We conducted a qualitative study among frontline health workers recovering from COVID-19 in Lagos State, Nigeria. We interviewed 12 respondents before achieving data saturation. We used a checklist to guide the interview according to the phenomenon under study. Data obtained were analyzed using Colaizzi’s phenomenological method. Results The study was summarized under five themes: knowledge of COVID-19, exposure, reactions, challenges and recommendations. The respondents were quite knowledgeable on COVID-19, their reactions when informed of their status were denial, anxiety, distress, disorientation, crying for fear of stigmatization, while some were psychologically prepared. Reactions from colleagues, family and friends were encouraging and provided solace for them with a few colleagues and families that had negative reactions. Challenges include anosmia, movement restriction, loneliness, worries about the state of their families, nondisclosure of status to family members, non-conducive isolation centre with limited space, insomnia, stigmatization by health workers at the isolation centre, extended duration of stay, delay in the release of test results and use of ambulance for evacuation to the isolation centres. Coping strategies were watching movies, phone calls, use of social media, listening to music, attending webinars, working on projects and reading spiritual books. Recommendations were early laboratory testing of samples and conveying of results, increase testing capacity, the need of health care workers to be more compassionate, better method of evacuation of people that tested positive to COVID-19, aside the use of ambulance that increases the likelihood of stigmatization and standard guideline for the case management of people recovering from COVID-19 in Lagos state. Conclusions Respondents felt stigmatized and psychologically and morally traumatized. Isolation is a difficult experience and some negative emotions as expressed by previous studies were experienced by the respondents. There is need for increased testing capacity, timely results dissemination, early evacuation and creation of more isolation centres in Lagos State due to the rising number of cases and shortage of bed space.
... Even after returnees successfully complete the recommended 14 days quarantine period, there is social stigma faced by quarantine individuals. In some communities, returnees have faced social exclusion, stereotyping, fingerpointing, mockery, and insults [25]. In addition, the healthcare workers monitoring the returnees have reported facing discrimination and stigma [26]. ...
Article
Full-text available
During the COVID-19 pandemic, evacuation and repatriation of nationals have been done by many countries. However, this has posed several socio-economic and public health issues that are worth exploring. This commentary, therefore, aims at exploring the impact of evacuation and repatriation amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Evacuation and repatriation helped to alleviate the psycho-social effects of the pandemic on foreign nationals, and also creates a sense of relief for host nations due to the reduced stress related to caring for a potentially larger number of people. It also contributed to the enhancement of the healthcare systems of several countries. However, evacuation and repatriation have contributed to the importation of the virus into various countries. It presents significant logistic and economic challenges as it requires trained personnel and equipment. Therefore, there is a need for proper planning, financing and supervision to avoid possible importation of the virus during the expedition. In addition, community awareness regarding returnees is essential to prevent social discrimination and stigma. Doi: 10.28991/SciMedJ-2021-03-SI-7 Full Text: PDF
... The stigma's impact can increase the risk of mental disorders. As stated by Adom and Adu Mensah (2020), people affected by stigma are continually fighting the stress they experience from anxiety, depression, and fear. Stigma is a reaction to disease and cannot be avoided. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The condition of the Indonesians’ unpreparedness for the COVID-19 pandemic has caused anxiety and fear. The public’s fears of COVID-19 cases have led to a negative stigma. As part of health workers in disaster management’s main pillars in health services, nurses are most vulnerable to infection and not free from the stigma. Objective: This study aimed to describe the social stigma against nurses taking care of patients with COVID-19 and experiencing suspected or probable or confirmed COVID-19 cases in Indonesia. Methods: This study was a mixed-method study using a sequential explanatory design-participant selection model. The selection of respondents used the convenience sampling technique. The number of respondents in the quantitative stage was 118 respondents. For qualitative data, selected participants were respondents with a stigma score of more than 21 nurses and willing to continue the interview process. There were 11 participants in the qualitative stage. This study used the modified Stigma Scale of the Explanatory Model Interview Catalog for quantitative data and four semi-structured questions to obtain qualitative data. Quantitative data were processed in descriptive statistics, and a thematic analysis was performed to analyze the qualitative data. Results: The highest stigma score of 118 respondents was 37, and the lowest score was zero. The stigma score had a mean of 12.28 (SD ± 7.9). The higher the score obtained leads to a higher level of stigma received. From a total of 11 participants interviewed, four main themes emerged: rejection, feeling down and afraid, sources of support, and professional vigilance. Conclusion: The social stigma experienced by nurses comes from colleagues and society and impacts psychological distress. Support from families and colleagues strengthens nurses in facing social stigma. Nevertheless, nurses uphold the values to remain grateful and carry out professional responsibilities in taking care of patients. Nurses should be provided with psychological support and be prepared for disasters to provide excellent health services and reduce adverse mental health. Funding: This study was funded by the University of Pelita Harapan, Indonesia (321/LPPM-UPH/VI/2020).
Article
Full-text available
Objective Health-related stigma is considered a social determinant of health equity and a hidden burden of disease. This study aimed to assess the level and dimensions of stigma and respective coping mechanisms in COVID-19 survivors. Methods A mixed-methods study with sequential explanatory design was conducted at the University Hospital of Ulm, Germany. Stigma was assessed using the Social Impact Scale (SIS) including adult COVID-19 survivors with mild-to-severe disease. Subsequently, 14 participants were sampled with regard to gender, age and severity of disease for in-depth interviews to understand how stigma was experienced and coping strategies were applied. The questionnaire was analysed using descriptive statistics, t-test and analysis of variance. Content analysis was used for qualitative data. Results From 61 participants, 58% were men and mean age was 51 years. The quantitative analysis of the SIS indicated an intermediate level of experienced stigma. Participants experienced stigma mainly as ‘social rejection’ (M=14.22, SD=4.91), followed by ‘social isolation’ (M=10.17, SD=4.16) and ‘internalised shame’ (M=8.39, SD=3.32). There was no significant difference in experienced stigma regarding gender, education, occupational status or residual symptoms. However, participants between 30 and 39 years of age experienced higher levels of stigma than other age groups (p=0.034). The qualitative analysis revealed how stigma seemed to arise from misconceptions creating irrational fear of infection, leading to stereotyping, vilification, discrimination and social exclusion of COVID-19 survivors, leaving them feeling vulnerable. Stigma cut through all social levels, from the individual level at the bottom to the institutional and societal level at the top. Social networks protected from experiencing stigma. Conclusion COVID-19-related stigma is a relevant burden in the ongoing pandemic. Providing accurate information and exposing misinformation on disease prevention and treatment seems key to end COVID-19-related stigma.
Article
Full-text available
Latar Belakang: Kasus pasien positif Covid-19 semakin meningkat sampai saat ini, berdampak pada berbagai aspek kehidupan termasuk psikologis, yaitu kecemasan, depresi, dan insomnia. Namun data tentang gambaran besaran gangguan kesehatan mental pada pasien Covid-19 yang penting untuk menjadi dasar dalam inteevensi lanjut dalam upaya percepatan penyembuhan pasien Covid-19. Tujuan penelitian ini adalah menggambarkan gejala klinis dan ganggunan psikologi pada pasien positif Covid-19 di Kota Pontianak. Metode: Penelitian ini merupakan deskriptif kuantitatif dengan pendekatan crosssectional. Total sampling digunakan sebanyak 42 orang. Analisa data dilakukan dengan menggunakan program computer. Teknik analisa data menggunakan univariate. Hasil: Sebagian besar responden juga mengalami gangguan kesehatan mental dalam beberapa level, diantaranya antara lain kecemasan ringan (66,7%), depresi ringan (59,5%), dan insomnia dalam skala ringan-sedang- berat sebesar 76,2% Kesimpulan: : Pasien positif Covid-19 mengalami gangguan psiklogis sehingga diperlukan intervensi yang tepat untuk mengurangi gejala klinis dan gangguan psikologis yang muncul dalam mempercepat proses kesembuhan
Article
Background Many COVID-19 survivors reported stigmatization after recovery. This study investigated the association between stigma (discrimination experiences, self-stigma and perceived affiliate stigma) and sleep quality among COVID-19 survivors six months after hospital discharge. Methods Participants were recovered adult COVID-19 survivors discharged between February 1 and April 30, 2020. Medical staff of five participating hospitals approached all discharged COVID-19 period during this period. A total of 199 participants completed the telephone interview during July to September, 2020. Structural equation modeling was performed to test the hypothesize that resilience and social support would mediate the associations between stigma and sleep quality. Results The results showed that 10.1% of the participants reported terrible/poor sleep quality, 26.1% reported worse sleep quality in the past week when comparing their current status versus the time before COVID-19. After adjusting for significant background characteristics, participants who had higher number of discrimination experience, perceived stronger self-stigma and stronger perceived affiliate stigma reported poorer sleep quality. Resilience and social support were positively and significantly associated with sleep quality. The indirect effect of self-stigma on sleep quality through social support and resilience was significant and negative. Perceived affiliate stigma also had a significant and negative indirect effect on sleep quality through social support and resilience. Conclusions Various types of stigma after recovery were associated with poor sleep quality among COVID-19 survivors, while social support and resilience were protective factors. Resilience and social support mediated the associations between self-stigma/perceived affiliate stigma and sleep quality.
Article
Full-text available
Public health emergencies in times of epidemics and the effects of contagion mitigation strategies such as emergency lockdown may cause intense fear and anxiety particularly among the at-risk populations. Correia 1 has also emphasized that health systems globally have diverted attention and resources toward the fight of COVID-19. This has significantly hampered the management of other serious health issues such as mental and chronic conditions particularly in low-and middle-income countries where resources for health are often limited. 2 This may certainly have both immediate and long-term deleterious public health impacts during and even beyond the pandemic. More importantly, the emergence of COVID-19 and the concomitant contagions have resulted in prejudices, community rejection and intense stigma against the infected and affected persons. 3-5 The allied neuropsychological impacts on the direct medical issues of the pandemic such disruptions, anxiety, stress, stigma and xenophobia may also cause mayhem in the society and social lives. 6 Pervasive social stigma and discriminatory behaviors are being demonstrated toward the frontline health and social workers and the vulnerable, at-risk population including older adults. Emerging evidence from many parts of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) shows that many people who have recovered and those recovering from COVID-19 as well as their families and close relevant others have been thrust into extreme stigmatization. 5,7-9 Diverse media reports document instances where COVID-19 suspected persons have been ejected from their rented apartments and turned away from shops especially after completing mandatory quarantine. 10,11 Such behaviors and actions may likely cause not only hostility and social disruptions but also interfere vehemently with the countermeasures against COVID-19. Lessons from previous outbreaks such as the MERS-COV, HIV and Ebola epidemic suggest that stigma tends to persist during and postepidemic. We offer viewpoints on how COVID-19-related stigma affects the mental health of the infected and affected people and propose measures to address this social canker especially in SSA.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any references for this publication.