From: Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin-Kebbi
No fewer than 14,000 psychiatric patients across 21 Local Government Areas of Kebbi State are under medical treatment at the General Hospital, Zauro.
Medical Director of Federal Medical Centre, Birnin-Kebbi, Dr. Abdullahi Ibrahim, stated this while speaking at the World Health Day celebration organised by the Centre.
Ibrahim, who spoke on the theme: “Depression: Let’s Talk”, eulogised the significant role Kebbi State Government played to ensure psychiatric patients received best treatment and go back to their normal lives.
Said he, ” The Kebbi State has made huge investment in Mental Health. Through the Zakat Board, we have been operating a visitation at General Hospital, Zauro fortnightly where psychiatric patients are brought from various Local Governments for treatment.
“The programme which I started with Late Prof. A.A Gwandu of blessed memory in 2009 now has about 14,000 patients under our care.Government provides drugs and pay allowances of the personnel involved.”.
He noted that the interventions of the state government has reduced “vagrant psychotics in the streets of most towns and villages in the state “.
The Medical Director also confirmed that depression affected people of all ages and could lead to suicide which he said is now a leading cause of death among individuals age between 15 -29 years old.
Ibrahim disclosed that under his leadership, Federal Medical Centre now has 400 bed capacity from 190 he inherited with 35 Consultants in all specialties of Medicine and Surgery.
” Our outpatient attendance has double to about one hundred thousand patients visits and over 13,000 admission each year. We have excelled in the areas of laparoscopic surgeries, and we received Consultants and other Doctors from Hospitals in Nigeria for Laparoscopic Surgery training in our Hospital. We have successful conducted total knee and Hip replacement surgeries just to mention a few”.
Ibrahim disclosed that the Centre had partnership with international Collaborations in Indian’s Hospitals such as Apollo Group of Hospital, Madras Medical Mission and Sankara Nethralaya Eye Hospital where some of their staff were trained in different specialties of Medicine.
In a lecture, Prof. Richard Uwakwe of the Department of Psychiatric, Nnamdi Arzikwe University, Akwa, Anambra State, lamented the inadequate psychiatric hospitals and psychiatrists in Nigeria. He stressed that Federal and state governments should spend more on the sector to cater for mentally deranged persons in the country.
Speaking, Chairman of the Zakkat Board in the state, Malam Muhammadu Kwaido, while addressing participants disclosed that state government had released N10 millions for the treatment of psychiatric patients in the state.
Kwaido said the out-patient psychiatric hospital in Zauro has recorded 1,500 patients who receive medication every two weeks.
He explained that the hospital has recorded success in the treatment of people with mental illness and depression.