The Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Kware in Sokoto State, has expressed concern over rising number of abandoned psychiatric patients at the hospital largely due to stigmatisation.
The hospital’s Medical Director, Dr Shehu Sale, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Wednesday in Kware that the situation has placed additional burden on the hospital.
The Consultant Psychiatrist blamed the situation on stigmatisation of mental health patients by relatives and society.
Sale, who is also an associate professor and master trainer with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), decried the stigma associated with mental health, saying it discourages people from seeking help.
He said that early report and diagnosis of mental ailments would help to curtail the number of cases in the country.
Sale pointed out that mental cases can be easily controlled if taken to the right hospitals in good time for proper diagnosis and treatment.
He added that the hospital has sponsored enlightenment campaigns on mental health and stigma in Kano, Katsina, Sokoto and other states to address the problem of stigmatisation.
The medical director traced the cause of mental health to drug abuse, depression, hardship or hereditary, which could be cured if detected and treated early.
He said that plans were underway to establish a family health clinic at the hospital to address the negative perception of people with regards to mental issues.
The consultant expressed confidence that the clinic, when established, would strengthen mental healthcare delivery.
According to him, the hospital has 600 bed space with 40 in-patients, while most others come in as out patients for consultation.
He commended the Federal Government on the ongoing renovation works in the hospital which would provide conducive offices, wards, accomodation and other structures.
The Medical Director said among the projects under construction was a perimeter fence to enhance the security of the premises and psychiatric patients.
He added that the hospital’s management had within its resources also conducted some direct repairs and renovations.
Sale further lauded Sokoto State Zakkat and Endowment Commission for sponsoring mental patients to the hospital, saying that the commission is a pillars of support to the hospital.
He enjoined wealthy individuals, organizations and agencies to also support the hospital and lauded Sokoto state government for supporting the facility with an ambulance and other materials.
The medical director disclosed that some of the major challenges confronting the hospital included poor power supply and inadequate essential staff to effectively manage the proposed family clinic, pharmacy, laboratory and other specialised departments.