Nigeria needs to pay greater attention to psychiatric health – Minister laments

) Minister of State for Health, Sen. Adeleke Momora, said in Calabar Saturday that Nigeria must pay greater attention to psychiatric health of people as nation grappled with increased substance abuse.

Mamora made declaration when he visited Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Calabar, which was vandalised by hoodlums parading as #EndSARS protesters Oct. 24 to ascertain level of damage done.

He described vandalism as mindless.

doesn’t seem to me that anyone rational enough would even contemplate visiting kind of carnage and devastation of this nature this kind of institution that is meant to care for the mental health of the society.

“Though the hospital belongs to the Federal Government, is in Cross River; we need to talk of what the governor, development partners, non-governmental organisations and indeed everyone can do to assist in bringing this hospital back.

“I have seen the damage myself and getting back to Abuja, I will let the Minister of Health know the extent of destruction and we will put heads together and also see Mr President,’’ he said.

In his remarks, Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River said the economic situation in the state was so bad that could hardly help itself not to talk of helping others.

Ayade, who was represented by his deputy, Prof. Ivara Esu, said he would be deceiving the minister if he pretended that the state could repair the federal institution as was finding difficult to repair properties belonging to the state that were vandalised during the protest.

“Initially, we were making promises to assist organisations that suffered losses during the protest, but at a point, we saw that we could not carry anymore,’’ he said.

Earlier, in his remark, the Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Bassey Edet, said in its 117 years of existence, the hospital had never witnessed the magnitude of devastation visited on Oct. 24.

Edet said the scale of destruction of the administrative block, the store, laboratories, wards, pharmacy, vehicles and others were massive and had taken the hospital 30 years backward.

He appealed to the minister to intervene by helping the hospital return to its former state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the hospital, established in 1903 by colonialists as an asylum, was the first psychiatric health facility in Nigeria, but was later upgraded and renamed in 1995 by the then Minister of Health, Mr Dalhatu Tafida. (NAN)