Shocker Medical expert says at least 20% of Nigerians will experience mental illness

Olugbile attributed this partly due to high rate of poverty, lack of social welfare and high rate of endemic infectious diseases.

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At least 20% of Nigerians are prone to mental illness, this is according to  Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Femi Olugbile.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, the former Chief Medical Director, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital said "at least 20% of the population will at some time in their lives experience at least one episode of mental disorder”

Olugbile attributed this partly due to high rate of poverty, lack of social welfare and high rate of endemic infectious diseases.

Adding that at any point in time, 2 to 5% of the 20% population would manifest the symptoms of mental disorder at early stage.

Though the figures are universal, he said, mental disorder can increase in times of social upheaval, such as war, terrorism and so on.

He cited security challenges such as kidnappings and armed robbery, as instances which can lead to increased stress, thereby increasing the likelihood of nervous breakdown.

He also  decried the few number of psychiatric hospitals in the country, saying that the facilities would not meet the number of people that need medical attention.

He suggested that a larger number of specialist hospitals spread across the country should be useful in the management of mental disorder.

Olugbile further suggested that private hospitals should be integrated into the system to provide universal care as this would enable people to get care close to their homes, while the specialist hospitals would only deal with serious referral cases.

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