From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
Kaduna state government said it has put all machinery in motion to partner Association of Psychiatrists (APN) in Nigeria in order to tackle the rising problem of drug abuse among youths, which has become worrisome and threatening the basic fabrics, values of the society.
The state governor, Alhaji Mukhtar Ramalan Yero disclosed this while declaring the 45th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference in Kaduna yesterday.
He said the problem of drug abuse among the youths cannot be dissociated from the rising level of crime in the society and to some extent, activities of insurgents, therefore, called on the association to take steps as professionals to tackle the problem.
He promised the assistance of his government to the association in this area.
Speaking on the theme of the conference: “Mental Health Transformation in Nigeria”, which deliberates on issues such as psychological effects of insurgents and Ebola virus diseases which he said is the right step in the right direction.
“In crisis period such as outbreak of an infectious disease with high fatality rate or insurgency, we must communicate effectively to the people whether as government or health care providers.
In his own remarks, the national president, Association of Psychiatrists in Nigeria (APN), Professor Jide Adeyemi, said mental health services are hardly accessible outside state capitals with a ratio of one to 3.3 million.
“In spite of this picture, recently qualified psychiatrists remain unemployed while quite a proportion is leaving the country. This raises the question how will the millions of Nigerians requiring mental health care receive optimum care?
The chairman of the occasion, Alhaji Ramalan Yero, who is also the chairman of Board of Management, Federal Neuro-psychiatric Hospital, Barnawa, Kaduna, said within the four years the hospital has undergone tremendous transformation in cubing the problem of psychiatrics in the country and has introduced community psychiatric outreach programme