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320,000 IDPs in Northeast require mental care, says WHO

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that 320,000 internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the Northeast; may require mental healthcare. The health disorders, were caused by the nine-year Boko Haram insurgency in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.

It warned that; the rate of common “mental health disorders” may double to trigger psychological problems among 1.6 million returning IDPs in camps and communities.
The Global health agency gave the warnings in its 2018 mid-year Report released at weekend in Yola, during a workshop on capacity strengthening on health reporting during emergencies.

“In emergency settings as the case in the north-east Nigeria, the rate of common mental disorders can double due to gender based violence, abduction and gross atrocities,” said the report. The report disclosed that the gender based violence; abductions and gross atrocities could trigger psychological problems among IDPs in camps and communities of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.

“Despite this huge demand for mental healthcare, the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital in Maiduguri, Borno state capital is the only specialized mental healthcare centre in insurgency affected the region,” noted he report.

According to the report, Hauwa Mohammed Adamu, a third year medical student of University witnessed her father slaughtered by unknown person in 2013, in Bama; and started indulging in substance abuse.

WHO through its mental health gap programme of action provided 9,000 beneficiaries with mental health services at 40 health facilities in Borno state. It also trained 70 non mental health primary healthcare workers on mental health gap action programme to increase access to services.

The services to the people, according to the report, include mental health challenges, neurological and substance abuse disorders.The report added: “WHO also developed 2018-2021 Borno State Mental Health Strategic Framework to be incorporated into state’s Strategic Heath Development Plan-II.”


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