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735 PATIENTS WITH MENTAL DISORDERS IN NORTHEAST

Jutha Gupah, Maiduguri

The Medical Director of Federal Neuro-psychiatric Hospital, Maiduguri, Dr. Ibrahim Wakawa has said that 736 patients have been diagnosed with psychotic, depressive and traumatic disorders. Mental health services are currently available in 25 Primary Health Centres, selected across Borno state in 10 each of General Hospitals and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps. Dr. Wakawa disclosed this on Tuesday in Maiduguri, while briefing the Ambassador of Spain, Cabanas Marcelino on state of hospital overcome challenges of “mental health and disorders” in Northeast. He said the hospital serves as a hub for referrals on ‘mental health and neuropsychiatry’ in Boko Haram insurgency affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe. “Our hospital was established in 1999 with six other regional Psychiatric Hospitals to cater for mental health needs of 25 million people,” he said. He said the psychiatric hospitals; serve as a hub for training, research and treatment of mental, neuro-psychiatric and substance use disorders in the country. According to him, the treatments of mental disorders were formalized through collaborative engagements with the World Health Organisations (WHO) and other international health and migration partners. Speaking on referred patients, he said: “In the last 12 months, 2,630 clients were referred, comprising 1, 431 males and 1, 199 females. “Of this figure, 1, 894 were seen on outpatient basis with over 7, 484 follow up visits. While the remaining 736 clients consisting of 577 males and 159 females were admitted and managed for various mental disorders.” He attributed mental illness to substance use, depressive, psychotic, anxiety, trauma and stress-related disorders. These according to him, include post traumatic disorders among displaced persons living in camps and host communities of Borno state. He noted that the partnership with WHO, UNFPA, Organisation for Migration (IOM) under the auspices of Mental Health Psycho-social Support (MHPS) intervention has improved access to mental health and people’s quality of life. In his remarks at the briefing, Marcelino said: “We’ll scale up our humanitarian assistance with support of WHO to overcome the challenges of mental health among victims of conflicts in Northeast, Nigeria.”

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