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Ignoring mental health issues threat to society – Resident Doctors


The Association of Resident Doctors, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter have raised grave concerns over the rising spate of mental health issues in Nigeria describing it as a threat to society.

Dr Roland Aigbovo, President of the association in FCT, disclosed this on Monday while briefing newsmen ahead of the commemoration of the 2019 Annual Health Week and General Meeting/Scientific Conference in Abuja.

Reports that the theme of 2019 annual Health Week is: “Neglect of Mental Health: A Threat to the Society”.

Aigbovo said that there was the need to address mental health issues in the country, decrying that the situation is worsened by the non-availability of medicines and absence of mental health services.

He said that mental health problem in Nigeria is also made worse by lack of counseling, housing and support groups.

The Dr hinted that the recent high wave of suicide, especially among youths was a call to action to take mental health issues more seriously, adding that it behooved on the citizenry to have a rethink in their general attitude to mental health.

Aigbovo said that the conference would also address other issues like management of clinical depression, physicians’ burnout and its implication on healthcare delivery as well as revisiting the Hippocratic oath.

“We also want to draw the attention of both the government and the general public to another important but hugely ignored aspect of healthcare services, which is physicians’ burnout.

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“Our duties as physicians put us at risk of varying health challenges ranging from hypertension, anxiety, psychosis, drug and substance abuse and ultimately suicide.

“We are made to attend to varying number of patients on a daily basis and work for over 24 hours straight in many instances,” he said.

Aigbovo noted that this had a direct effect on the quality of services rendered and made members prone to mistakes that could have been avoided if things were done well.

The ARD president added that increased mental disorders was another undesirable consequence of ignoring mental health issues.

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