The federal government says it will activate no fewer than 15 mental healthcare outposts in the South-East to get mental health care services accessible to the people.
Professor Monday Igwe, the Medical Director of the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu, disclosed this after he was given a rousing welcome to the hospital on Wednesday after his second tenure in office was confirmed.
It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari approved Mr Igwe’s re-appointment on April 1, following the recommendation of the board of management of the hospital.
The medical director explained that the hospital would activate one outpost in each of the 15 senatorial zones in the South-East to further improve access to mental healthcare in the country, especially for the rural people.
According to him, the outposts will ensure that residents in the region have access to first aid mental health treatment close to them before they are referred to the hospital for further treatment.
“We have completed and fully equipped nine of them. What is left is the activation because we now have new sets of staff who can serve the people.
“We will ensure that our people have better access to mental health, especially as the president has earmarked an improved budget for health in the last budget,” he said.
He noted that his administration would also upgrade the school of nursing and leave the hospital better than they met it.
He said that he would prioritise staff welfare to ensure that they give their best in service to humanity, adding that the management would sanction anybody who fails to deliver on their mandate.
Mr Igwe said, “If we do not do well, it means we are living Nigerians to suffer.
“We will ensure that we are a world centre of excellence in terms of delivering mental health services and this will surely put the hospital in the national and world map.”
The medical director thanked President Buhari, the Minister of Health and Minister of State for Health for upholding the recommendation of the hospital management board leading to his re-appointment.