The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the Karu General Hospital, Dr Osamuede Ojo, has alerted on the impact of drug abuse on growing cases of mental health in the country.
Dr Osamuede was speaking during a fundraising dinner for phase two renovation, completion and furnishing of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Ward of the Karu General Hospital, Abuja, by the Lions Club International, District 404A2.
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She said findings revealed that seven-year-olds had been lured into drug abuse, adding that there were few psychiatric centres and specialists in Abuja.
She said, “I will say that it has always been there, but social media has exposed mental health conditions; the way it is. You see people coming out to say, ‘I have depression’, ‘I have been diagnosed to have bipolar, schizophrenia’. So, this is real.
“Before now, a lot of people didn’t come out; they attributed it to maybe magic or witchcraft, or maybe the person did something wrong, and all sorts of things. But now, we know, mental health disorders are a result of a disease in the brain or some dysfunction.”
The First Vice President of the Abuja Lions Club, Architect Samuel Egbuchiri, appealed to partners and well-meaning Nigerians to support the completion of the N50m centre.
Also speaking, the Second Vice President of the club in Abuja, Engr Vivian Iloegbunam, said drug addiction had become a major scourge not just among youths, but all ages, and therefore called for more support to eradicate the problem.
Dr Christian Uchenna who was chairman of the occasion, said he decided to play an active part in mental health projects because of his friend whose family suffered the experience after his mother was raped.