Psychiatrist Canvases 20% Health Allocation For Mental Health Services In Nigeria - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS

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Saturday, October 10, 2020

Psychiatrist Canvases 20% Health Allocation For Mental Health Services In Nigeria

 

Dr. Afis Akanni Agboola 

Michael-Azeez Ogunsiji 

ABEOKUTA - The Provost and Medical Director of Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Aro, Abeokuta, Ogun state, Dr. Afis Akanni Agboola has enjoined the federal government to increase the budgetary allocation for Health sector to improve mental health services in the country. 


Dr. Agboola who decried the perceived poor attention to mental health issues, noted that the country must key into the 2020 World Mental Health Day theme by investing more in mental healthcare.


The Provost who was represented by the Head of Clinical Services of the hospital, Dr. Lucky Onofa disclosed this on Saturday at a press conference heralding this year's World Mental Health Day with the theme; "Mental Health For All: Greater Investment - Greater Access held at the premises of Federal Neuropsychiatric hospital, Aro, Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital. 


According to him, the world is experiencing unprecedented impact of the current global health emergency due to COVID-19, saying unless the country make serious commitments to scale up investment in mental health, social and economic consequences would be far reaching. 


He noted that, most developing countries including Nigeria spend less than 1% of their health budgets on mental health, calling on governments at all levels and private investors to investment in mental health services to raise awareness among children, adolescents, young, adult and elderly.


The Medical Doctor added that research confirmed that 50 per cent of all mental health conditions usually first manifest before attaining age 15, warning that if the cases are properly diagnosed and treated at that stage, the patient can have a long rewarding life without complications.


Speaking on the theme of the 2020 World Mental Health Day: Mental Health for All: Greater Investment – Greater Access, Dr. Agboola maintained that, the celebration offers opportunity for the world to come together and begin redressing the historic neglect of mental health. 


"The covid-19 has caused lots of emotional reactions, therefore,  we need lots of investments in terms of human resources training for our health workers.


"We are already seeing the consequences of the covid-19 pandemic on people's mental well-being, and this is just beginning. Unless we make serious commitments to scale up investment in mental health right now, the health, social and economic consequences will be far-reaching. 


"Countries spend just about 1% of their health budgets on mental health. Most developing countries spend less than 1% of their health budgets on mental health. 


"In 2001, African Union agreed that 15% of national budget should be earmark  for Health and I think in Nigeria, we are still hovering on 5%. FG should increase the allocation for mental health. And if the 15% is approved, 20% of such budget should be given to mental health services. Although, the federal government is trying in terms of paying health workers salaries and hazard allowance, but we need more money on research, human capacity development, and training of mental health workers."


Agboola, who said Neuropsychiatric hospital, Aro, Abeokuta has become a national model in mental health service delivery in Nigeria, commended the staff of the hospital for sustaining the vision and mission which metamorphosed to the latest world ranking as number one hospital in Nigeria from 2013 to date by International Webometric Ranking of World.

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