World Health Organisation (WHO) says it supported the treatment of 301 mental health patients and referred 12 others for further management in Borno from January to November 2020.
Dr Henry Nwanja, the WHO Public Health Officer, Emergency Programme, North East, made this known in Maiduguri on Thursday while handing over the Borno Psychiatric Hospital, rehabilitated by WHO to Borno Government.
The hospital was vandalised by insurgents in 2013.
Nwanja said “ever since then, the hospital has been non-functional and totally dilapidated until 2019 when the government approached WHO to facilitate the reconstruction, equipping and restoration of healthcare services at the hospital”.
He added that WHO, through the European Union, made funds available for the restoration of services at the health facility.
He noted that the rate of common mental disorders doubled by 20 per cent in Borno because of violent conflicts.
The WHO public health officer stressed the need to scale up mental health interventions to meet urgent needs as the capacity of the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital in Maiduguri, currently serving the entire North East is over stretched.
He said “in response to that, WHO has been supporting the clinical management and referral of mental health cases from communities and primary healthcare facilities through the Mental Health Gap Action Programme”.
The Chief Medical Director of Borno Hospital Management Board, Professor Mohammed Arab, lauded WHO for the intervention and assured the organisation of proper management of the facility.
Arab said the 48-bed capacity hospital has two wards with pharmacy, therapy and social welfare sections, among others.
Governor Babagana Zulum, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Rehabilitation, Resettlement, and Reconstruction, Abdulkarim Abdulrahman, also commended WHO for its sustained support to healthcare delivery in the state.
The governor, however, called for support to establish similar facility in each senatorial district of the state.