The Medical Director, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu, Dr. Monday Igwe, has said Nigeria’s health challenges are slowly shifting from infectious diseases to mental health.
Dr Monday revealed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) today in Enugu on the sidelines of the 2019 World Mental Health Day celebration.
He said the increase in social problems, unemployment, lack of money to cater to one’s needs is to be blamed here.
He added that mental health must now be given proper attention by government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
His words, “This is because the trend and burden of illness are getting less with infectious diseases and moving towards mental health problems.”
“This hospital is supposed to service the five states in the South-East in terms of mental health, but we have the challenge of limited resources and dilapidated structures.
“We are also lacking in personnel as a lot of our doctors and nurses are leaving for greener pastures abroad, leaving us with limited human resources to cope with increasing cases of mental illness.
“Mental health is a neglected area, as we mostly talk about physical health. A person is said to be healthy when he or she is socially, physically and mentally fit. Being healthy is not just the absence of infirmity.”
“By the time they come to us, they would have wasted all the resources they would have used to treat them in a mental health facility,” he said. The medical director said that given the necessary resources, the institution had the capacity to cater for mental health patients in terms of research, clinical services, and training.”