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Nigeria has one psychiatric doctor to a million citizens – APN President, Obindo breaks silence

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The President, Association of Psychiatrists in Nigeria, Prof. Taiwo Obindo says the country currently has a ratio of one qualified psychiatric doctor to about a million Nigerians.

He made the worrisome disclosure in Enugu on Thursday at the 53rd Annual General and Scientific Meeting of all psychiatric doctors in Nigeria holding at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu.

The four-day meeting, which started on Nov. 23, is themed: “Insecurity and Forced Displacement: Mental Health and Psychological Implication”.

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Obindo said, “This development has made accessibility and deliverability of psychiatric care relatively difficult in the country.”

He revealed that up to two-third of yearly well-trained and certified psychiatric doctors leave the country annually, adding that in psychiatric hospitals, qualified psychiatric doctors leave the country in droves, thus creating challenges for the country.

“The standard is that one psychiatric doctor should take care of 10,000 patients; but today, we have one psychiatric doctor to over one million Nigerians.

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“As we speak now, we are having less than 250 certified psychiatric doctors throughout the whole country and more are leaving by the day,” he lamented.

He called for the passage of the National Mental Health Bill (amended) to give proper process and administration of mental health treatment and other issues relating to mental health, which included adequate funding and enumeration of its professionals.

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