Home News ‘40m Nigerians suffering from mental disorders’
News - November 13, 2018

‘40m Nigerians suffering from mental disorders’

Prof. Isaac Adewoye, Minister of Health.

An estimated 40 million Nigerians are believed to be suffering from mental disorder, a top government official has said.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Abdulaziz Mashi Abdullahi, gave the hint on Monday at the on-going mental health action committee and stakeholders’ workshop in Abuja.

Abdullahi attributed the country’s high burden of mental disorders to inadequate attention paid to mental illnesses, misconceptions and lack of awareness on the part of the Nigerian public.

He added that more people will be disabled by psychological challenges than complications arising from HIV/AIDS, heart disease, accidents, and wars combined by the year 2020.

He identified ways of addressing the country’s mental health burden to include: fast-tracking the enactment of the Mental Health Act as well as the resuscitation of the national mental health action committee for the coordination of stakeholders’ activities on mental health and psychosocial supports in the country.

“In Nigeria, an estimated 20%–30% of our populations are believed to suffer from mental disorders. This is a very significant number considering Nigeria has an estimated population of over 200 million.

“Unfortunately, the attention given to mental health disorders in Nigeria is inadequate. The level of awareness of the Nigerian public on mental health issues is also understandably poor, and with lots of misconceptions,” he said.

In his remarks, Dr. Rex Mpaazange, the WHO Lead on Communicable and Non-communicable Diseases Intervention, also lamented Nigeria’s high burden of mental health disorders.

He said: “People with severe mental disorders – moderate to severe depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders – generally have a life-expectancy 10-20 years shorter than the general population.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *