Dr Ligia Barros (Diploma in Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, 2018) works as a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Consultant in Mozambique. Here, she discusses how she has been responding to COVID-19 and how LSHTM training has helped during this time.
“Since COVID-19, private practice has become more difficult with all the restrictions and the fears associated with the pandemic, especially in a country where telemedicine has serious logistic difficulties. There has also been an increased concern in mental health since the significant care disruption. I’m currently involved in a project of telephonic mental health surveillance and crisis intervention.
“My week is varied, and therefore I don’t really have a typical workday. I do private practice on Monday and Wednesday mornings. It’s not a wealthy population, and stigma still plays a big role, so my workload is very diverse. People mostly search my services in a crisis and stop attending as soon as the situation is stable. Developmental disorders are the main cause of about 50% of my practice.
“I volunteer with a school for disabled children and adolescents where I’m responsible for the strategy and coordination of the programmes and interventions – also giving clinical support one morning a week.
“Another project I’m involved with is employment for disabled individuals, where my main responsibility is to match the needs of the job with the abilities of the candidate. Sometimes I have to work on this project for several days, sometimes there is no need.
“LSHTM’s training gave me a broader view of all the disease burden, struggles and lack of resources. Also, how the issues you have to overcome impacted the design of any project or action.”