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Work update

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic

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Just like any global project, Erasmus+ KA2 MEGA was heavily affected by COVID-19 and the travelling restrictions caused by the pandemic. At the beginning of the year, MEGA was approaching the last and most important milestones of the project. Based on the initial project timeline, 2020 was going to be the final year to implement the remaining part of the project activities. Many activities that had already begun suddenly reached a critical stage and, stopping them completely, could cause long-term damage for the overall project. Unfortunately, one of the most critical deliverables – “Field testing of the MEGA app” – was also among the activities whose execution risked being put to a halt completely. Read More

Mobile application pilot in the Free State

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South Africans are in dire straits as a vast part of the economy shut down and the country went into lockdown for months. As a result of job losses and businesses closing down, millions of people are going hungry every day. Worldwide, mental illness has been on the rise, and anecdotally, the pandemic is further compounding the situation. Read More

Pilot training: University of the Free State

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As the MEGA app is continuing development, the training materials for nurses on mental health and health care are ready for testing and implementation. The pilot test was carried out by the UFS team in actual settings. The training was conducted in a boardroom of the Heidedal Community Health Centre (CHC) at the Pelonomi Hospital in the Free State province. Despite the clinics being busy with their daily work, the training was prioritised, and one nurse and one social worker of the clinic were released for the pilot training for one full day. Read More

Piloting the train-the-trainer course

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A main goal of the MEGA project is to integrate mental health into primary health care in South Africa and Zambia through the means of education. To reach this goal we are planning to train nurses in the use of a brief mental health screening tool for assessing mental health problems in young people. Read More

Free State Provincial Health Research Day

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It is clear that there is need for more training on mental health issues for nurses in public health care according to the very preliminary findings from the MEGA project survey conducted in the Mangaung Municipality. This was our message in the 7th Annual Free State Provincial Health Research Day held on 9 November 2018, at the University of the Free State.  Read More