In Nigeria 80% of mental health patients do not have access to treatment

According to Prof. Taiwo Lateef-Sheik, the Medical Director, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Kaduna recent statistics show, that about 80% of Nigerians with mental problems do not have access to treatment.

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80% of mental health patients do not have access to treatment

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According to Prof. Taiwo Lateef-Sheik, the Medical Director, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Kaduna recent statistics show, that about 80% of Nigerians with mental problems do not have access to treatment.

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Discussing with a NAN representative during a mental health training in the state, he said that there is need for Nigeria to improve access to mental health centers.

Statistics shows that about 80 per cent of Nigerians who have issues that have to do with mental health do not actually receive treatment.

We felt that there is need for us to improve access to mental healthcare to Nigerians, hence the decision to develop this programme.

Lateef-Sheik stated that the essence of the training was to bring mental healthcare to General hospitals and primary health centers.

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We have piloted strengthening mental healthcare service delivery at three general hospitals in Kaduna State.

These include: Ikara, Birnin-Gwari and Kachia general hospitals, we have doctors that are providing mental healthcare and we have also trained their health workers comprising doctors, nurses and pharmacists.

“We are providing training at these three areas; we have already provided the training at Birnin-Gwari, they have been trained and have been seeing mental healthcare patients and referring them to general hospital.

This is the second phase at Ikara, hoping that they would be able to recognize mental health challenges, treat those with mild cases and refer those with severe cases to Ikara general hospital,’’ he said.

According to him, the training is being financed from the meager resources of the hospital and a little support from an NGO.

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