Prof. Olayinka Omigbodun, a Consultant Psychiatrist and Head of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Department at the University College Hospital ( UCH ), Ibadan, says more than 1,680 cases of mental illness were treated in the facility in the last one year.
Omigbodun, who spoke to the News men in Ibadan, said that government was not paying enough attention to mental illnesses inspite of the rising number of cases being recorded.
She said: “The Nigerian government has not put enough emphasis on this area of health challenge which is on the increase daily.
“For instance, out of every 20 admissions made daily at the UCH, six or seven are generated from schizophrenia (mental illness).
“This gives us a holistic figure of 1, 680 cases of mental health illnesses treated in UCH, annually and this is really an alarming situation on our hands.
“Sixty-five per cent of these numbers are women and girls because women are more prone to develop depression which is a primary factor causing mental illness
“Half of this admission is discharged early after full recovery from treatment, but a lot others remain for longer periods of time in the ward.
“In a population of about 180 million people or there about, it is speculated that about 64 million
Nigerians suffer from one form of mental disorder or the other, and deserving attention.
“Government had done much in the area of Primary Health Care and HIV/AIDS, much is yet to be done in the area of psychiatry and mental health and this is a little disheartening.’’
According to her, mental illness “is a condition that influences the way a person thinks, feels, behaves, or relates to others and to his surroundings.