The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARDs) observed that there is an increasing number of persons with mental health issues in Nigeria.
Dr Roland Aigbovo, the Chairman of the Abuja chapter, spoke at a media briefing to herald the 2019 Annual Health Week and General Meeting/Scientific Conference in Abuja.
Aigbovo explained that the mental health situation was further worsened by the non-availability of medicines, the absence of mental health services at the primary healthcare level and other services. The medical practitioner listed other services to include: counselling, housing, and support groups, were also lacking.
He said that the mental health issue required immediate action, noting that with the recent suicidal episodes in the country, it behooved on the citizenry to have a rethink on their general attitude to the menace.
Aigbovo added that the sub-themes for the conference included current management of clinical depression, physicians’ burnout and its implication on healthcare delivery.
“We also want to draw the attention of both government and the public to another important but hugely ignored aspect of healthcare services, which is physicians’ burnout”, NAN quoted him as saying.
“Our duties as physicians put us at risk of varying health challenges ranging from hypertension, anxiety, psychosis, drug and substance abuse and ultimately suicide. We are made to attend to a varying number of patients on a daily basis and work for over 24 hours straight in many instances.”
He said burnout could directly be linked to undesirable consequences like higher medical errors, malpractice risk, and higher physician and staff turnover.