OBJECTIVE: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact worldwide, at different levels . The literature consulted indicates that healthcare workers, who are the first to respond, are generally the ones who pay the highest price . The present study assesses the extent of anxious and depressive symptoms among these actors responding to COVID-19, in the context of Cameroon .
METHOD: The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) was used to assess anxious and depressive symptoms . Data collection involved the use of a web questionnaire for this purpose through the Google Forms virtual platform . The questionnaire link was sent to professional groups spread throughout Cameroon's ten regions . A total of 331 health professionals were interviewed over the period from April 5 to 19 , 2020 . RESULT: The results show a high rate of anxiety (41.8 %) and depression (42.8 %). There is a higher susceptibility to depression in young people (30-39 years). Fear of contamination and fear of death are modulators of depression and anxiety . The anxiety-depression comorbidity in the sample is 14.73% . The prevalence rates of major depressive disorder and adjustment disorder in the sample were 8.2% and 3.3%, respectively . The data presented confirm the trends recorded in the literature regarding the impact of fatal epidemics on the mental health of healthcare workers .
DISCUSSION: The results indicate, as is the case with most of the work consulted in the literature, that the Covid 19 pandemic is significantly affecting the mental health of healthcare workers . This underlines the urgency of setting up a specialized aid and / or support system, in the context of the current pandemic, such as that of similar health crises . Such a device does not exist in Cameroon, where the mental health response remains weak .
CONCLUSION: These results suggest that the healthcare staff involved in the response to COVID-19 in Cameroon are significantly affected in their mental health . This underlines the need for specialized psychological help for nursing staff.