Nigerian hospitals lack personnel to manage mental illnesses – Expert

Iyanuoluwa Balogun, a medical doctor at the Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Abeokuta, says majority of hospitals in Nigeria do not have enough psychiatrists to manage mental health issues.

Balogun noted that the situation is making early detection of mental illness almost impossible in Nigeria.

She spoke during a news program known as Citizens Forum, on Rock City 101.9FM, Abeokuta.

The program was organised by National Association of SeaDogs Pyrate Confraternity, Ash Montana Deck.

Balogun while speaking during the programme organised in commemoration of this year’s World Mental Health Day, said access to mental health care is a fundamental human right for all citizens.

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She added that government needs to make the care available and accessible to all and sundry.

Balogun, while speaking further, regretted that in Nigeria, most hospitals do not have enough medical personnel to manage mental health.

According to her, many neuropsychiatric hospitals in the country lack psychiatric doctors, nurses and social workers.

She said, “Access to mental health care is a fundamental human right for all citizens which the government needs to make available to all.

“The brain drain and the exodus of medical practitioners is affecting mental health care delivery and psychiatric hospitals are now lacking psychiatric doctors, nurses and social workers.

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“All these factors hinder the accessibility of mental health care in the country. Mental illness in the Nigerian society is still not widely accepted the way other illnesses are accepted.

“People tend to discriminate and stigmatize people with mental illness. People attach mental illness to some myths which makes the society to isolate people who have mental illness.”

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