Stakeholders and Professionals in the Mental Health Service family have spoken in one voice on the imperativeness of Public-Private partnership as a fast route to taking mental health services in the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, and by extension, the country in general to its next level.
At a Dinner/Awards event which was the high point of series of activities rolled out to mark the 110th Anniversary of the Hospital at Eko Hotel and Suites on Saturday, the need for well meaning individuals and corporate organisations to continually collaborate with Government in the bid to improve on the infrastructure and human capacity in order to reach more citizens needing mental health care was re-echoed.
Speaking at the occasion, the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, said the history of Yaba Psychiatric Hospital shows clearly that a combination of huge investment on the part of Government and public spirited individuals have been largely responsible for its stages of development.
The Minister, represented by Professor Biodun Ilesanmi, said government will not relent on its determination to give mental health care service the attention it deserves because mental wellbeing of the citizenry is at the centre of industrialisation and productivity which the country is presently striving to attain in order to guarantee steady economic growth and prosperity.
In his keynote address , Chairman, Lekki Free trade zone, Mr. Biodun Dabiri, who recently donated a multi million naira Child and Adolescent Centre to the Hospital, called for more concerted efforts to fund and support the health sector in Nigeria, especially mental health, citing alarming rate of brain drain in the health sector as a development that calls for concern.
He said that time is now to put the necessary emphasis on the need to widen citizen’s access to mental health care, adding that this can only happen when Government continues to make quality mental health care a priority.
While congratulating the management and staff of the hospital for a successful anniversary celebration, the Chairman of the Occasion, Chief Doja Adewolu said that kudos must be given to the founding fathers of the hospital and the successive leadership over the past decades for the continuous improvements that has brought the hospital from almost nothing at the onset to one which prides itself with hundreds of professionals with specialisation in mental healthcare delivery and also serves as a training institution for such.
Chief Adewolu however reiterated that mental illness, if treated timely can be cured like malaria or any other health conditions. Hence, there should be no reason for any form of stigmatisation of people with mental illness. He said also that he has confidence in the current management of the hospital to take it to greater heights going by the vigour and dynamism so far displayed.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Medical Director of the Hospital, Dr. (Mrs) Oluwayemi Ogun said that looking back in history, one would be exited to see that the hospital has undergone many phases spanning the colonial time, the pre-independence era, the independence, the oil boom, the military era, up to the civilian administration.. She said also that “today, one can fondly reflect on the journey so far from the time when effective treatment was not available to the modern time with very effective biological, psychological and social treatment of mental illness.
Dr. Ogun said further that the Federal Government is responsible for the present state of infrastructural development of the hospital and Government is committed to continuous upgrading of facilities and also invest more in human capital development to boost quality of service.
The Medical Director also said that it is important to pay glowing tributes to the founding fathers of the hospital who made sacrifices and bequeathed to the present generation, a good legacy which is now being built upon.
Speaking on future projections, Dr. (Mrs) Ogun said ” our focus in the next decade is to expand mental health services considerably, build an Out Patient Clinic Complex, have a Complex of Amphi Theatre comprising seminar rooms, multi purpose hall and psycho geriatric ward” adding that ‘other facilities required include a purpose built Patients Dining Hall and a Forensic Ward Complex aside from general facelift of existing structures”
The 110th Anniversary which kicked off in the month of October, 2017 has featured series of activities which include a Walk/ Rally for Mental Health, World Mental Health Day Lecture, School Essay Competition and Talk on Drug Abuse, and Scientific Conference among others.
L-R: Representative of the Honourable Minister for health, Professor Biodun Ilesanmi, Medical Director, Federal Neuro Psychiatric Hospital Yaba, Dr. (Mrs.) Oluwayemi Ogun, Chairman Lekki Free Trade Zone, Mr. Biodun Dabiri and his Spouse during presentation of
Award to Dabiri at a Dinner marking the Hospital’s 110th Anniversary in Lagos on Saturday.