The president of Mandate Health Empowerment Initiative, Mr Zion Abba Ameh disclosed this in his opening speech at the mental health conference held in Abuja.
While quoting from World Health Organisation (WHO)’s report, he said around 30 to 40 percent of Nigerians were suffering mental disorder.
He said the report also has it that between 16% to 49% of people in the world have psychiatric and neurological disorder, adding that most of these individuals live in low middle income countries.
In his speech to mark World’s tobacco day, he stressed that all hands must be on deck to proffer solutions to “this neglected side of our health”.
Mr. Ameh advocated for the Mental Health Bill to be passed to an ACT as the current lunacy Act of 1954 was no longer tenable.
He said his organization in conjunction with others, was planing a movie to change the narratives of drug awareness campaign.
“This [the movie] is targeted at addressing root causes, treatment rehabilitation concerns and the implication of drugs and substance abuse.”
On his part, the Association of Psychiatrist, Nigeria president Dr. Sheikh Taiwo in his keynote address, lamented that tobacco addiction was already eating up the Nigerian society.
“When we talk of mental health, it relates to the brain and the brain is what makes a person”, he said.
Similarly, the Executive Secretary of Primary Healthcare (PHC) Board, Dr. Matthew Ashikeni said the discrimination against primary health was responsible for the rise in mental health cases.
He noted that efforts were not being made to encourage the treatment of mental health at the primary health level, adding that more specialist and psychiatrist hospitals should be built by government.
He however, said his board was already training health personnel at the primary level to take care of mental health cases.
Daily Trust News