By Steve Agbota
Health experts have identified depression as a major silent killer in Nigeria, while called for high index of suspicion for signs and symptoms.
According to Dr. Patrick Korie, during a ‘health walk,’ organised by Managed Healthcare Services Limited (MHS) and Catholic Chaplaincy Centre LUTH, Idi Araba, Lagos recently to create awareness and sensitise the public about depression, may people are suffering the ailment with knowing it.
He said it was necessary to create so that people will understand what depression was so that they could live healthy as well as help others take back their lives and also live healthy.
the medical practitioner said when that fails, MHS is available to provide them health plans to go through.
Said he: “We are actually collaborating with LUTH Chaplaincy Centre to organise this health walk as part of the chaplaincy’s week-long activities called health week because we are a health maintenance organisation and part of our function is health promotion and creating awareness of wellbeing. We are creating awareness for a silent disease called depression, which is ravaging so many people.
“We feel that when we encourage people to live healthy, to exercise and do other things, they will live healthy. When there is ailment, being a health maintenance organisation, we tell them we are available with health plans to help them solve whatever health challenges they may have when health promotion and healthy wellbeing lifestyle fail,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, Prof. Ajuluchukwu, Janet Ngozi, a lecturer in the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, said people could tackle depression by observing the high trend drug (recreational drug) people use, too much use of alcohol, use of drugs that make people high and problems of life that overwhelm them.
She said the fact that people are killing themselves unknowingly with what they do or take into their bodies was an indication that there is need to educate the populace to understand what depression is.
He added: “We heard about people jumping from the 3rd Mainland Bridge and now we have police presence in that place, trying to prevent that. We heard about a man that had triplet and killed himself some weeks ago because his salary was not paid.
“If these people were not depressed, there would have been a more positive reaction. But human beings are imbalance people. At anytime, we have positive and negative. So it is the balance we are looking for. We are also trying to reduce the stigma attached to mental health issues. When they say someone has psychiatric illness, everybody starts running away; but we are trying to say that sometimes it is not their fault. Even if it is their fault, they are sick; what we need to know is how to get more doctors, nurses and appropriate healthcare professional solutions to look after them.”