The immediate past Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, has declared that the rate of mental and psychiatric alertness of Nigerians is abysmally low compared to her western counterparts.
The ex- minister made this known while speaking as a guest lecturer at the 2nd Public Lecture organized by the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu in collaboration with the West African College of Nursing.
Speaking on the theme: “Psychiatric and Mental Health in Nigeria: Challenges and Prospects”,
He said this was worrisome considering that some medical scholars have revealed that in a population of 160 million or thereabout, “it is speculated that 64 million Nigerians suffer from one form or the other of afflictions of mental illness- deserving attention”.
“I will confess that while Government has built modern diagnostic centres, dialysis and ophthalmological centres, and constructed more than 710 Primary Health Care Centres throughout our political wards in Enugu State, we are only beginning to give priority towards optimizing and modernizing our Psychiatric Mental Health Institutions in the State to meet required demands.
“Despite the efforts of all levels of government in the medical sector of our nation, Nigerians still grapple with many social challenges, including poverty, high level of unemployment and other social pressures.
“The prevalence of these situations have been escalated by the fact that there is high level of poor knowledge and understanding of the malaise of mental health disorder and the positive treatments required by the growing population of mentally ill patients,”he stated.
He identified causes of mental illness to include genetic composition, early development, neurological and psychological experiences and environmental stresses.
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