Psychosocial factors and trauma in Rwandese refugees living in Lusaka, Zambia.Izimo zempilo yengqondo kanye nokwethuka kubabaleki baseRwanda abahlala eLusaka, eZambia.
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The 1994 genocide left many Rwandan refugees to undergo many adverse experiences. The transition from Rwanda to other countries of asylum was often punctuated with a lot of immeasurable challenges. Traumatic experiences encountered by refugees, such as torture and the atrocities witnessed from the genocide, have negatively impacted the refugees. Like other countries in Sub Saharan Africa, Zambia has had political, social and economic challenges. The current state of refugees in Zambia presents different challenges that impact refugees’ wellbeing. Exposure to traumatic experiences creates a range of mental health challenges. These challenges affect both those who had a direct experience of the genocide and their children born in the post-genocide era. This Thesis aimed to examine mental health, psychological distress and coping mechanisms in Rwandan refugees. The differences in symptomology between the older and younger refugees were examined. In addition, the study examined the association between socio-economic factors and psychological distress among Rwandan refugees. An examination of the existing literature indicates that the topics covered in this research are still under-studied in Zambia as well as many other African countries. The research will contribute to a greater understanding and awareness of refugees’ mental health and coping. Mixed method research was utilised involving a quantitative cross-sectional survey and qualitative design involving Focus Group Discussions (FGDs). Two hundred and sixty-seven refugees consisting of 128 (47.9%) males and 139 (52.1%) females purposively sampled participated in the study. Different statistical models were used to assess mental health and psychological distress in the refugees. Further, different coping mechanisms used by the refugees to cope with adversity were evaluated. The results from the study posit that Rwandan refugees have experienced adverse trauma emanating from atrocities of the 1994 genocide. The study further indicated that there is a significant number of participants that reported PTSD and psychological distress. Lower education, lack of financial support and larger family size were positively associated with PTSD and psychological distress. In addition, the study revealed that social support, religion and/or spirituality were the main practices that Rwandan refugees utilise to cope with adversity. Among the key limitations of the study is the small sample size. Future studies should consider using a bigger sample size to improve the generalisability of results. Intervention strategies aimed at improving the lives of refugees should be ongoing. They must encompass a well-structured refugee policy that defines and emphasises refugees’ mental health and psychosocial needs. IQOQA Ukubulawa kwabantu ngokobuhlanga ngonyaka we-1994 kwashiya izakhamizi eziningi zaseRwanda ezibalekele kwamanye amazwe zibhekene nezimo eziningi ezingezinhle. Ushintsho lokusuka eRwanda beya kwamanye amazwe okubhaca kwakuhlangabezana njalo nezingqinamba ezingalinganiseki. Izimo zokuhlukumezeka ezabhekana nababaleki, ezifana nokuhlukunyezwa kanye namazinga empilo okwaba khona ngenxa yokubulawa kwabantu ngokobuhlanga, kwaba nemiphumela emibi kakhulu ezimpilweni zababaleki. Njengamanye amazwe aseSub-Saharan Africa, iZambia seyibe nazo izingqinamba zezepolitiki, ezenhlalakahle yomphakathi kanye nezomnotho. Isimo samanje sababaleki eZambia siveza izinkinga ezahlukene ezihlukumeza impilo yababaleki. Ukubhekana bukhona nezimo ezibuhlungu kudala izinhlobonhlobo zezinkinga zesimo sempilo yengqondo. Lezi zinkinga zihlukumeza bobabili labo ababhekane ngqo nesimo sokubulawa kwabantu ngokobuhlanga kanye nabantwana babo abazalwe emva kwesikhathi sokubulawa kwabantu ngokobuhlanga. Lolu cwaningo luhlose ukuhlola impilo yengqondo, ukuhlukumezeka ngokomqondo kanye nezindlela abazisebenzisayo zokubhekana nesimo kwababaleki baseRwanda. Umehluko okhona phakathi kwezinkomba phakathi kwababaleki asebekhulile kanye nabasebancane kwahlolwa. Okunye futhi, ucwaningo luhlole ubudlelwane phakathi kwezimo zempilo yomnotho kanye nokuhlukumezeka ngokomqondo phakathi kwababaleki baseRwanda. Ukubuyekezwa kwemibhalo esivele isikhona kuveza ukuthi izihloko okukhulunywa ngazo emibhalweni zisacwaningwa eZambia kanye nakwamanye amazwe ase-Afrika. Ucwaningo luzonezezela ekuqondeni okungcono kanye nokuqwashiseka ngesimo sempilo yengqondo sababaleki kanye nezindlela ababhekana ngazo nalezi zimo. Ucwaningo lwendlela engxube lusetshenzisiwe kubandakanye nengxenyana esabalele yenhlolovo kanye nohlaka lwekhwalithethivu olubandakanye izingxoxo namaqoqo acwaningwayo, ama-Focus Group Discussions (FGDs). Ababaleki abangamakhulu amabili namashumi ayisithupha okubalwa kubo abesilisa abayi-128 (47.9%) kanye nabesifazane abayi-139 (52.1%) baqokwa ngenhloso ukubamba iqhaza ocwaningweni. Amamodeli ezinombolo ehlukene asetshenziswa ukuhlola izinga lempilo yengqondo kanye nokuhlukumezeka ngokwengqondo kubabaleki. Okunye futhi, izindlela zokubhekana nezimo ezahlukene ezisetshenziswa ababaleki ukubhekana neshwa labo kwabhekwa. Imiphumela yocwaningo iveza ukuthi ababaleki baseRwanda sebebhekene nesimo esingesihle nesiwumphumela wamazinga empilo okubulawa kwabantu ngokobuhlanga kwa-1994. Ucwangingo luphinde luveze ukuthi kubabambiqhaza abaningi ababika i-PTSD kanye nokuhlukumezeka ngokwengqondo. Amazinga aphansi emfundo, ukwesweleka kosizo lwezimali kanye nemindeni emikhulu kwakuhlobene nesimo se-PTSD kanye nesokuhlukumezeka ngokomqondo. Okunye futhi, ucwaningo luveze ukuthi ukwesekwa ngokwenhlalakahle yomphakathi, ezenkolo kanye/noma ngokomoya kwakuyizinto ezisemqoka eziyimikhuba ababaleki baseRwanda abazisebenzisayo ukubhekana nesimo sabo saleli shwa. Phakathi kwezingqinamba ezinqala zocwaningo kwaba ubungakho bukasayizi. Ucwaningo olulandelayo kumele lubheke ukusebenzisa usayizi othe ukuba mkhulu ukuthuthukisa ukusabalalisela kwemiphumela. Amasu okubhekana nalesi simo ahlose ukuthuthukisa izimpilo zababaleki kumele aqhubeke. Kumele ahlanganise inqubomgomo ehleleke ngendlela yababaleki nechaza futhi igcizelele kabanzi ngezidingo zempilo yengqondo kanye nesimo sokusebenza kwengqondo.