War in the midst of a pandemic: the synergy accelerating mental health disorders

Tope Michael Ipinnimo1*, Taiwo Hassanat Buari2, Bukola Simbiat Annafi3
1Department of Community Medicine, Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido-Ekiti, Nigeria.
2Department of Medicine, Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido-Ekiti, Nigeria.
3Department of Mental Health, Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido-Ekiti, Nigeria.
*Correspondence: Tope Michael Ipinnimo; abbeymagnus@yahoo.com, ORCID ID: 0000-0003-4975-3508

Download full article in pdf format


War and displacement can have long-term and disastrous repercussions on people’s mental, emotional, and physical health. Bombardments, invasions, occupation desertion, and being forced to flee diminish people’s sense of security. The risk of being hurt or maimed as a result of conflict causes acute dread, which sets in motion other cascades of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. These mental and emotional impacts are exacerbated by a co-existing pandemic, as migration and populations forced into cramped, dangerous situations are likely to contribute significantly to disease spread, particularly given the current surge of the highly transmissible omicron variant of COVID-19. This threat to life and livelihood eventually leaves some survivors with mental health disorders.

Keywords: COVID-19, Mental Health Disorders, Pandemic, War.

Cite this article: Ipinnimo TM, Buari TH, Annafi BS. War in the midst of a pandemic: the synergy accelerating mental health disorders. Yen Med J. 2022;4(3):40–42.


  1. Semo BW, Frissa SM. The Mental Health Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Implications for Sub-Saharan Africa. Psychol Res Behav Manag. 2020;13:713-720. doi: 10.2147/PRBM.S264286.
  2. Panchal N, Kamal R, Cox C, Garfield R. The Implications of COVID-19 for Mental Health and Substance Use. 2021. Available from: https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/issue-brief/the-implications-of-covid-19-for-mental-health-and-substance-use/. Accessed July 13, 2022.
  3. Bello UM, Kannan P, Chutiyami M, Salihu D, Cheong AMY, Miller T et al. Prevalence of Anxiety and Depression Among the General Population in Africa During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Front Public Health. 2022;10:814981. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2022.814981.
  4. Hewlett, E., Takino, S., Nishina, Y. and Prinz, C. Tackling the Mental Health Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis: An Integrated, Whole-Of-Society Response, OECD Publishing, Paris, 2021. Available from: https://www.oecd.org/coronavirus/policy-responses/tackling-the-mental-health-impact-ofthe-covid-19-crisis-an-integrated-whole-of-society-response-0ccafa0b/. Accessed April 26, 2022.
  5. Sony Salzman. A war during a pandemic: experts warn of a perfect storm, 2022. Available from: https://abcnews.go.com/International/war-pandemic-experts-warn-perfect-storm/story?id=83227639. Accessed April 25, 2022.
  6. Roy A, Singh AK, Mishra S, Chinnadurai A, Mitra A, Bakshi O. Mental health implications of COVID-19 pandemic and its response in India. Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2021;67(5):587-600. doi: 10.1177/0020764020950769.
  7. Amrita Rathi. Psychological Impact of Victims of War and Conflict, 2010. Available from: https://www.apa.org/international/united-nations/un-matters/rathi-war.pdf. Accessed April 25, 2022.
  8. Elbedour S, Ten Bensel R, Bastien DT. Ecological integrated model of children of war: Individual and social psychology. Child Abuse Negl. 1993;17(6):805-819. doi: /10.1016/S0145-2134(08)80011-7.
  9. Jensen PS, Shaw J. Children as victims of war: Current knowledge and future research needs. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1993;32(4):697-708. doi:10.1097/00004583-199307000-00001.
  10. Malchrzak W, Babicki M, Pokorna-Kałwak D, Doniec Z, Mastalerz-Migas A. COVID-19 Vaccination and Ukrainian Refugees in Poland during Russian–Ukrainian War—Narrative Review. Vaccines. 2022;10(6):955. doi: 10.3390/vaccines10060955.
  11. Elhadi M, Buzreg A, Bouhuwaish A, Khaled A, Alhadi A, Msherghi A. Psychological Impact of the Civil War and COVID-19 on Libyan Medical Students: A Cross-Sectional Study. Front Psychol. 2020;11:570435. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.570435.
  12. WHO. COVID-19 disrupting mental health services in most countries, WHO survey. Available from: https://www.who.int/news/item/05-10-2020-covid-19-disrupting-mental-health-services-in-most-countries-who-survey. Accessed May 2, 2022.
× Chat