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CCCD brings limelight on mental illnesses

Issues affecting women suffering from mental illnesses were brought onto the limelight when the Creative Centre for Communication and Development (CCCD) staff members featured on a popular radio programme, Disability Issues.
The programme, which was aired on 22 April 2013, is hosted by one of Zimbabwe’s influential and award winning female broadcasters, Soneni Gwizi on the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation’s Spot FM channel.
Gertrude Pswarayi, the Director of CCCD and Frank Jabson, the Programme Officer of CCCD featured on the programme to highlight the organisation’s 2013/4 Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights programme which targets women and girls suffering from mental illnesses.
The 30-minutes programme focused on the challenges that women and girls suffering from mental illnesses face. Pswarayi highlighted cultural myths, beliefs and perceptions that lead to the marginalisation of women and girls suffering from mental illnesses and the subsequent violation of their basic right to medical support, shelter, food and other services.
Jabson focused on how the organisation is working with one of its local partners, the Noah’s Ark Ministries to alleviate problems faced by patients at Ingutsheni psychiatric hospital in Bulawayo. Ingutsheni hospital is the country’s biggest mental health referral institution.
Spot FM broadcasts mainly in English and is a music, news and current affairs station aimed at a mature audience. The third quarter of the 2012 Zimbabwe All Media Products and Services (ZAMPS) survey shows that Spot FM has approximately 171 984 listeners. The surveys confirms that radio is still the most popular source of news and information in Zimbabwe, especially in rural areas with the country having about a million radio sets – roughly 1 for every 12 inhabitants according to the online database PressReference.
CCCD will feature again on the same programme to highlight its initiatives of building the capacity of women and girls in the use of Information and Communication Technologies so as to raise their voices on issues that are of concern to them. The organisation strongly views radio as one of the key ICT that that can be used to give voice to the ‘unheard in the zone of silence’.

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