One in four Nigerians – some 50 million people – are suffering from some sort of mental illness, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The 10th of October is observed as World Mental Health Day and researchers find that the country is nowhere near equipped to tackle the problem. There are only eight neuropsychiatric hospitals in Nigeria. With dire budget and staffing shortfalls prompting doctors to go on strike, leave the country, or quit the medical profession altogether, the prognosis looks as grim for psychiatric care at Yaba hospital as it does for Nigeria’s healthcare system as a whole. The seventh-largest country in the world, Nigeria has Africa’s highest rate of depression, and ranks fifth in the world in the frequency of suicide, according to WHO. There are less than 150 psychiatrists in this country of 200 million, and WHO estimates that fewer than 10 percent of mentally ill Nigerians have access to the care they need.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA