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Two senators may propose bill to subject politicians to mental test


Members of the Nigerian Senate at a plenary. PHOTO: TWITTER/ NIGERIAN SENATE

Two Senators, Mao Ohuabuwa and Dino Melaye, have hinted that they may sponsor a bill to compel politicians to undergo a compulsory mental test. They made the call yesterday at the Third Annual World Mental Health Day symposium, organised by NOVO Health Africa in Abuja.

The theme of the symposium, which was “Mental health in the workplace,” was aimed at enhancing the importance of good practices for a psychologically safe work place.

Ohuabuwa is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Primary Health And Communicable Diseases, while Melaye represents Kogi West Senatorial District.

Ohuabuwa lamented the low budgetary allocation to psychiatry or mental hospitals in the country, adding that the proposed bill would assist in reforming the national health policy.

Melaye condemned the rate of corruption in the country, asking: “How can someone in his right senses use N2billion to cut grassses?”

Melaye said: “Indeed health experts need to collaborate with those of us at the National Assembly so that we can enact a new bill or work on the existing ones to make it mandatory for political appointees to go through mental health stability before being appointed.”

The Managing Director of Nova Health, Dr. Dorothy Jef-Nnamani, said the projection by the World Health Organisation (WHO) of an increate in mental health, made the symposium a necessity.

She said: “Mental illness is not a death sentence, given the fact that numerous affordable interventions exist just like other forms of disability. We should challenge the low priority given to mental health and eliminate the stigma against persons suffering mental health issues and their families.”

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