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NMA: Mental health professionals inadequate — few doctors serve several states

NMA: Mental health professionals inadequate — few doctors serve several states
October 12
13:04 2022

Bapiga’an Audu, chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Plateau state, says Nigeria lacks adequate mental health professionals.

Speaking on Wednesday in an interview with NAN, he said there is one mental health doctor to about 1,000,000 patients.

He said the mental health area of medicine in Nigeria has been left unattended for a long time.

“There is dearth of manpower for mental health in Nigeria. On the Plateau, we have only six psychiatrists serving a population of over 5,000,000 persons and this isn’t only for the state,” he said.


“These doctors also serve neighbouring states like Bauchi, Taraba and Kaduna as patients from these states come to Plateau to get treatment.”

Audu said the simplest way to overcome the neglect of mental health is by giving people information through health education.

He said because of this, the NMA is advocating the inclusion of mental health in any health education programme.


“Unfortunately in our society when we talk about health education, it is usually mainstreamed to physical hygiene alone, it should also go with mental education,” he said.

Speaking further, Audu said not everyone with a mental illness has psychosis (madness) while he encouraged people to seek medical help when they experience a mental health challenge.

He added that there is a need to overcome the issue of stigma, as it hinders people from speaking out about their mental health challenges.


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