World Mental Health Day: Kwara NMA Chair Laments Dearth Of Psychiatrists

October 10, 2020
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Issa lamented that in Nigeria there are only about 350  psychiatrists to serve the about 200 million population.

The NMA chairman who spoke on the occasion of the World Mental Health Day 2020, noted that ” in Kwara state there are about 12 psychiatrists with all practicing in the state capital, Ilorin.”

He, however, pointed out that “in Kwara, the government is working hard to upgrade the health facilities, recruit more health workers and enhance the health system. We are grateful to the government but we  would want the government to focus more on mental health as it is doing to physical health.

“The entire Kwara north currently does not have a single mental health care doctor, whether in private or public. As a Psychiatrist, myself, there are some other things that we would like to discuss with the government as soon as we are able to do so that will help in strengthening the mental health in Kwara state.”

He added that: “Mental health is a leading cause of disabilities and death due to suicide globally, Nigeria inclusive.

Yet there are fewer specialists in mental health care, less support for mental health and the stigma against mental health is the highest amongst all health conditions.

“There is no family without someone who has or has had a mental health condition. In fact health is not complete without mental health: no health without mental health.

“Anxiety, depression, psychotic disorders, substance use disorders are very common in our society. The incidences of substance (drug) use disorders (cannabis, alcohol, sedatives, opioids, hallucinogens, etc went up tremendously globally and in Nigeria to an alarming rate to got everybody talking, yet special attention has not been paid to mental health.

“This years theme “Mental Health for All: Greater Investment, Greater Access” is to call government, non government organisation, individuals to pay more attention to mental health by investing more to make mental health care accessible to all.”

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