Popular traditional healer Sekuru Kamwelo Banda has complemented government efforts in fighting drug abuse amongst the youths.
He has set aside $500 000 United States towards to go towards the construction of a mega rehabilitation centre to house youths affected by drug abuse habits.
Last week he visited high density suburbs where he counseled the youths and the centre will be located in Mbare which is the hardest hit area.
It is estimated that 60 percent of youths are on illicit drug abuse in Zimbabwe. This problem has even affected prominent Zim Dancehall musicians like Soul Jah Love and Silent Killer.
Sekuru Banda has invited some of these prominent artists to come and get the services at the envisaged rehabilitation centre and make them role model survivors because he has promised to support their work financially.
“I am worried that great talent can go to waste because of drug abuse. Besides being a traditional healer, I am also a proponent of a socially stable society where our youths are of physical and mental wellbeing and healthy enough to participate meaningfully in the economic prosperity of the country.The crime rate also increases because this drug abusers end up stealing so that they can fund their habits,”he said.
Sekuru Kamwelo Banda’s centre will provide psycho-social support and enlist the services of social workers and counsellors at the rehabilitation centre. The Kamwelo Banda (KB) Trust Fund will fund most of the projects at the rehabilitation centre.
Meanwhile, psychologist, Dr. Dixon Sibanda has come up with The Friendship Bench project that offers a brief psychological intervention addressing depression in primary care clinics in Zimbabwe.
The cognitive behavior therapy based intervention (a problem solving approach) is carried out by trained Lay Health Workers.
The Friendship Bench has come up with a training manual that is written in English and Shona. It explains common mental disorders (CMD) and how to administer and score the locally validated questionnaires that assess CMD.
Furthermore, required counselling skills are explained in detail, as is the Problem Solving Therapy (PST) and how to use it with Friendship Bench clients. Topics such as strong emotional reactions, suicide assessment and referral, home visits, supervision and self-care are also discussed in specific chapters.
The Friendship Bench Training Manual will be reviewed and adapted for the scale up of the intervention to over 50 local clinics.
Dr Chido Rwafa, the Deputy Director of Mental Health Services in the Ministry of Health and Child care has said substance related disorders are one of the top three diagnoses presenting to mental health services countrywide. These disorders are wreaking havoc in our families and communities and over-stretching an already over -burdened health system, she said.
Sekuru Banda’s claim to fame is his ability to help theft victims recover their stolen goods (back to sender).
He is also known for curing several illnesses and his surgery in Hillside is always busy with patients from across the world.