From Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has handed over a state psychiatric hospital it recently refurbished to Borno State government to address the increasing mental health challenges in the area.
WHO Public Health Officer, emergency project, Dr Henry Okoronwanja said the hospital was renovated by the organisation to cater for mental health issues in the state escalated by over a decade of insurgency
“In 2013, the Hospital was attacked by the insurgents resulting in the destruction and vandalization of the structures/equipment and displacement of the staff who were later reassigned to other hospitals where they have been providing healthcare services,” he explained.
He said the Hospital has been nonfunctional and totally dilapidated since then until 2019 when the state government approached the WHO, to facilitate the reconstruction, equipping and restoration of Health care services to the Hospital.
He said the rebuilding was funded supported by the European Union (EU).He commended the union for the support, saying it would go a long way in improving the health care delivery in the state.
Gov Babagana Zulum represented by his adviser on Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resetlement, Abdulkadir Abdulkadir commended the EU and WHO for the Rehabilitation. He assured that the facility would be put into judicious use for the people.
A cording to a brief provided by WHO, the State Psychiatric Hospital was formerly a unit in the State Specialist Hospital before it was relocated to the current location. The Hospital was built in 1976 with 48 bed capacity, and having 4 wards, also served the entire North Eastern Nigeria and 3 neighboring countries (Cameroun, Chad and Niger) for a long time.