Human health deserves great attention to get the best from the people. This entails a good state of the mind, giving healthcare under a convivial atmosphere, and ensuring that the aged and senior citizens are adequately protected. These important pieces of advice were given by discussants on the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) Radio 89.5FM. Nigerians have been advised to arm themselves with the needed information to curb the menace of mental health illness in the country. Dr. Sunday Amosu, a Consultant Psychiatrist at the Drug Addiction Treatment, Education, Rehabilitation and Research (DATER), Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Aro, Abeokuta, Ogun State, stated this while commemorating this year’s World Health Mental Day.
He identified some factors contributing to mental health illness to include genetic predisposition, ability to cope with day-to-day stress, abuse of drugs and alcohol, among others. Dr. Amosu stated that persons with sound mental health would have the ability to think right, talk logically and rationally, as well as behave appropriately. “Fingers are not equal and in the continents of the world, countries are not equal. So there would be variation in terms of culture, tradition, development, and accessibility to health,” he added. Dr. Amosu, however, urged Nigerians to visit hospitals when they experience poor sleep, saying that poor sleep was one of the earliest signs of either psychological or mental health illness in the country. He also urged Nigerians to jettison unnecessary stigma by showing empathy to those who had suffered one form of illness or the other. “What is our attitude and belief system towards mental health issues, as people suffer all sorts of health issues, but they see people with mental health illness as demonic”, he wondered.
Stakeholders have admonished Nigerians to prepare for their old age by investing in healthy lifestyle choices while they are young. The call was made as part of activities marking the 2021 International Day of Older Persons, themed “Digital Equity for All Ages”. They said younger people nowadays do not prepare for their old age, adding that healthy lifestyle choice was key to enjoying their health when they are old. According to a Consultant Neurologist at the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, Dr. Olaleye Adeniji, old age is not a condition to be feared, if properly prepared for, but should be celebrated and enjoyed. “The world is now gradually going digital and it is most likely the world relies on technology to survive. We should know how we can integrate the older people into the new age of digital technology by making them have knowledge of what digital technology can do for them in developing countries like Nigeria”, he said. Also, Mrs. Funmi Salisu of the Coalition of Societies for the Rights of Older Persons in Nigeria (COSROPIN), Ogun State Chapter enjoined the younger generation to look after the older ones. She argued that doing such should not only be for their family members, but for every elderly person they come in contact with and as such, would make the world a better place to live in. According to her, “If God gives them the grace, they will get old too and whatever they sow is what they will reap. They should, please, look at the older ones”.
In a related development, doctors and other caregivers have been charged to give due attention and make the hospital environment serene and conducive for patients’ treatment. This admonition was given by the Principal Health Officer at the Health Services of FUNAAB, Dr. Oluseyi Anjorin. According to him, everybody at the hospital is at risk, saying one of the ways to reduce risk was to create a conducive and serene environment in hospitals across the country. He said World Safety Day is celebrated to prevent, reduce risk, error, and the harm that occurs to patients during health care services. He said patients come to the hospital when they are feeling well and that health caregivers should always give succour to them. Dr. Anjorin, however, urged doctors and other caregivers not to add to patients’ pains.
“Every preposition by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that is supported by member countries is worthy of celebration” and on the part of the caregivers that errors have been minimised, adding that the Nigerian Medical Association always advocates in-training of practitioners to brush up where they are lacking, saying that most hospitals do not have the equipment to fine-tune what they do, stressing that in the developed countries where they have the equipment, errors still occur. “We need to keep talking to ourselves that when we meet a patient and you are not so sure, just seek support from your colleagues as two heads are better than one”, he added. From the submissions of the experts, it can be seen that human health truly deserves great attention in order to get the best from the people. Therefore, we need to ensure a good state of the mind, giving adequate healthcare under a convivial atmosphere, and ensuring that the aged and senior citizens are adequately protected in our society.