The Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Maiduguri, says it recorded 74,000 mental health cases in the past 20 years.
The Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Ibrahim Wakawa, told newsmen in Maiduguri on Thursday that the figures were recorded since the hospital started clinical operation in 1999.
Wakawa, who spoke on the sidelines of the inauguration of the ultra modern assessment unit of the hospital, disclosed that 20,000 of the 74,000 cases were recorded between 2012 to date.
He disclosed that some 989 cases were also recorded in the first quarter of 2019, adding that the cases are mental illnesses and psychological trauma due to the Boko Haram insurgency.
Wakawa explained that the hospital recorded significant increase in the number of persons suffering from trauma and psycho-social problems in the past five years.
This, he said, was due to devastating effects of insurgency on communities in the northeast.
He said: “We (hospital) receive patients from Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe States as well as Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic.
“The hospital in collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) trained specialists, deployed personnel and extended its outreach to 16 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.
“Its outreaches also cover six community health facilities to enhance psycho-social support services.
“The personnel are trained on detection and preliminary management of mental illnesses, while plans are under way to establish Mental Health and Psycho-Social Support Centre in the hospital’’.
According to him, the hospital management had adopted a programme code named “Open the Gate”, to enable patients in the community to access quality healthcare services at the hospital.
Wakawa added that the programme was designed to control stigma and enhance psycho-social support services.
“The idea is to integrate family medicine into mental health services and create awareness on mental health in the communities,” he said.
The managing director commended the Federal and Borno State Governments over their support and called on development partners to support the hospital.