Prevalence of mental health in post-genocide youth calls for action – KT Press

Children Without Roots

children who do not know their roots

Ministry of National Integration and Civil Mobilization (MINUBUMWE), in partnership with the International Organization for Peacebuilding (Interpeace) on 21 Marchscheduled tribe More than 80 participants convened to discuss mental health challenges, mostly post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and post-genocide depression affecting youth in Rwanda.

The participants from public institutions, civil society organizations and faith based organizations were expected to examine the persistent causes of mental health, gaps faced by various actors for suitable solutions.

Current data on mental health in post-genocide Rwanda calls for action; As the 2018 Rwanda Mental Health Survey (2018 RMHS) conducted by the Rwanda Bio-Medical Center (RBC) revealed a 11.9% (19,110 cases) prevalence of depression in the general population versus 35.0% (1,271 cases) in the subpopulation. Survivors of the massacre.

The Ministry of National Integration and Civic Engagement indicated that youth who survived the genocide against Tutsi still faced problems, including the slow process of searching for their dead parents and relatives, giving them a decent burial, For, along with parents, a sense of guilt from children is involved. In crimes, providing the vulnerable with a lack of support and care from their community, gaining self-affirmation and resilience, among other challenges.

Similarly, the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is estimated at 3.6% (19,110 cases) in the general population, versus 27.9% (1.271 cases) in a sample of genocide survivors.

Kevin Iradukunda Kalisa is a representative of ‘Child of Rwanda Family’, a local association based in Rilima Sector of Bugesera District. The association takes care of children born of rape during the genocide against the Tutsi.

‘We are in great need of consolation, because of what we have gone through, mental health problem with most young people preferring isolation, ask where they are. However, mentoring and involving them in daily activities by taking advantage of start-ups will be part of the healing, as we remain close to other Rwandans in nation building.’, Iradukunda said.

According to Iradukunda, his association, which is still building structures, has so far helped 10 youths trace their original families. The members of the association try to overcome the dark moments by thinking about becoming the head of the family.

He called for thinking beyond fellow youth who are still overwhelmed with grief, contemplating suicide, to always help them in their healing process, but to start with themselves.

Clarisse Munezero, permanent secretary at MINUBUMWE, said that in addition to efforts to mentor youth, the ministry has other programs aimed at engaging them in discussions with people well-acquainted with the country’s history, enrolling them in itorero, To enable them to undertake various projects. For poverty alleviation, among other initiatives at the village level.

‘We consider the issue of children who do not know their clear paternal lineage, especially those of mothers who were raped during the genocide, and all categories based on existing research findings,’ Munezero said. Every problem needs to be solved by collective efforts. Apart from addressing mental health, they have other challenges such as housing shortage and we engage with other institutions, including the Ministry of Local Bodies, to identify and consider them.’

Research conducted by the Rwanda Biomedical Center on PTSD, such as (depression, panic disorder), including suicidal behavior, puts youth populations at risk regardless of their level of education. This research shows that 10.2% of young people aged 14-18 years have a mental disorder.

MINUBUMWE’s other responsibilities include additional challenges related to the reintegration of former genocide perpetrators into the community after serving their prison sentences, the implementation of strategies on social cohesion, and healing the wounds caused by the distortion of Rwanda’s history.

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