Three Out Of 10 Nigerians Are Mentally Sick -Reps
The House of Representatives has said that three out of every 10 Nigerians have one form of mental illness or another.
Quoting the World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics, the House added that over 20,000,000 Nigerians were currently suffering from various degrees of mental illness or disorder without psychiatric health care.
To this end, the House mandated its Committees on Health Institutions and Healthcare Services to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Health towards improving mental health facilities around the country and further carry out serious sensitization of Nigerians on this issue.
It also asked the Committee on Health Institution to explore the modalities of liaising with stakeholders in the health sector to promote, educate and sensitise Nigerians on mental health.
The resolution, however, followed a motion titled “Need to Address the Rising Cases of Mental Health in Nigeria” presented by Hon. Uchechuku Nnam-Obi from Rivers State and considered by the House at yesterday’s plenary.
Presenting his motion, Nnam-Obi noted that the World Health Organisation (WHO) considers mental health as a state of well-being in which the individual can cope with the stress of life, work productively and contribute to the community.
According to him, mental illness manifests in mood disorder, anxiety disorder, trauma-related disorder, personality disorder, old age-related disorder, substance abuse disorder or mental pattern that causes significant distress or impairment of personal functioning.
He said: “According to the World Health Organisation statistics, over twenty million Nigerians are currently suffering from various degrees of mental illness or disorder without psychiatric health care.
“Three out of 10 Nigerians have one form of mental illness or the other, presently there is no mental health legislation in Nigeria. However, the Nigerian mental health policy is the only framework that has access to mental healthcare, dealing with mental and neurological disorders in Nigeria, discouraging stigmatisation against persons with mental disorders and has institutionalised standards for Psychiatric practice.
“The increase in cases of depression is traceable to multifactorial inter and intrapersonal issues which leads to suicidal death in the country and this requires urgent attention.
“Nigeria has only 130 Psychiatrists with over 20million citizens suffering from mental disorders.
“With the few functional Mental Health Facilities and inadequate mental health practitioners in the country, mental health cases are left for traditional practitioners, hence the upsurge in mental health in Nigeria.
“The statistics are troubling and the continued lack of a legal framework on mental health in the country will simply cause the situation to degenerate”
Adopting the motion, the House gave six weeks to the committees within which to carry out the assignment and report back to it for further legislative action.
Representatives of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum, yesterday, paid a condolence visit to the Sokoto State Governor, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal over the death of his elder brother, Alhaji Muhammed Bello.
Bello, who is also the Waziri of Tambuwal, passed on in Sokoto, last Tuesday night at the age 87.
He was the head of the Tambuwal family.
On the PDP governors’ delegation were, Governors Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State; Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu); Oluseyi Makinde (Oyo); and Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa State.
The Vice Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, who led the delegation, said they were in Sokoto to commiserate with Tambuwal and his entire family over the sudden death of his elder brother.
“We feel your pain, and we understand that a great vacuum has been created, not only within the caliphate, but across Nigeria and other places where Daddy had sphere of influence. We believe that God Almighty will grant you the fortitude to bear this great loss.
“We are, however, consoled by the fact that Daddy left legacies that will remain indelible; one of them is your very good self and your impact and contributions to our dear country.”
The governors urged the Tambuwal family, particularly the Sokoto State governor, to remain strong, steadfast and uphold those virtues which the late Waziri of Tambuwal, cherished so much.
In his response, Sokoto StateGovernor, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, who is the PDP Governors’ Forum chairman, said the entire Tambuwal family was gladdened by the condolence visit.
According to him, his late elder brother, who lived his life in the service of community, held the family title, Waziri of Tambuwal for 37 years after the demise of their father.
“We are, indeed, very highly consoled not only by your presence, but your words of consolation. For you to have left behind whatever you are doing in your respective states to come all the way to Sokoto this afternoon, shows clearly how you sympathise with us and how close you are to us. I assure you that we appreciate this.”
The United State Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, yesterday, visited the National Strategic Warehouse to welcome the latest delivery of U.S.-government donated COVID-19 vaccines.
During the visit, she discussed COVID-19 vaccine storage and distribution with the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, and his technical and warehouse staff.
The visit marks the most recent donation of 3.2million Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines by the United States to Nigeria.
A statement by the mission in Abuja, and made available to The Tide in Port Harcourt, said, “These vaccines have over six months of validity before expiration and are being stored at the National Strategic Warehouse for distribution to thousands of COVID-19 vaccination sites nationwide”, she said.
During the visit, Leonard inspected the vaccine doses and discussed how the agency was maintaining proper ultra-cold storage, “as safe and effective vaccines are our best tool to ending the pandemic”.
The latest shipment reflects the United States’ commitment to purchase and donate 1.2billion COVID-19 vaccine doses worldwide.
“To date, the United States has delivered more than 370million vaccine doses to over 110 countries.
“This includes the over 24.7million U.S-donated doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the Nigerian people.
“It is important to note that all U.S.-donated Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses to Nigeria have had an expiration deadline of, at least,six months or more upon receipt to ensure adequate time for use.
“Vaccine donations are a part of the U.S. government’s continued partnership with the Government of Nigeria in combating COVID-19.
“To date, the U.S. government has provided over $130million of technical and financial support to Nigeria’s COVID-19 response specifically for vaccination roll out and administration, deployment of personnel to support the response, last mile delivery and supply chain logistics, epidemiological and vaccine related COVID-19 surveys and surveillance systems, testing capacity and molecular lab networks, personal protective equipment, and provision of rapid response teams.
“The U.S. government has also contributed to the training of over 200,000 military and civilian personnel on COVID-19 control measures and maintaining preventive health and social service.
“The U.S. government urges all Nigerians to go out and get vaccinated to make themselves safe and make use of the donated COVID-19 vaccines.
“These actions will strengthen not only the health and well-being of the nation but the overall worldwide response to the pandemic.
“Every individual plays a vital role in supporting the global effort needed to stem the spread of COVID-19.
“The U.S. government will continue its partnership with the Nigerian Ministry of Health and Centre for Disease Control to defeat COVID-19 and deliver life-saving vaccine doses across the country via COVAX”, the statement said.
By: Nelson Chukwudi
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