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The President of Ilorin Neuroscience Group (ING) and a Professor of Physiology at the University of Ilorin, Bamidele Owoyele, has said that one out of every four Nigerians suffers insanity.
Prof Owoyele stated this during the maiden Global Engagement and Advocacy Programme organised by the ING in conjunction with the International Brain Research Organisation (IBRO) at the institution’s Multipurpose Hall.
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The renowned academic said that the number of those who are afflicted with one form of mental disorder or the other are on the increase across the country.
Prof Owoyele noted that the upsurge in the incidence of mental disorder is being helped by substance abuse and increment in the burden of neurological diseases.
He appealed to the government at all levels to make more budgetary provision for the health sector, saying that the about 2% allocation often set aside for the health sector is too small for the health need of the country.
He also called on philanthropists in the country to emulate their counterparts in the advanced world by assisting in the funding of research, which would generate efficacious solutions to brain-related diseases.
The ING President further implored concerned authorities to engage in more public enlightenment programmes to educate members of the public on research participation, adding that such efforts help in the early detection of some neurological disorders and discovery of therapeutic interventions.
Training of professionals
Prof Owoyele also called for more training of experts in the field of mental health to arrest the growing level of neurological deficits among the nation’s population, saying that efforts should also be targeted at reducing the number of medical experts who are leaving the shores of Nigeria for greener pastures abroad.
While paying glowing tributes to its foreign partners and the University of Ilorin for the collaboration which eventuated in the event, Prof Owoeye disclosed that the Group, which consisted of scholars from various fields across different Departments, Faculties and institutions around Ilorin, would not relent in its efforts at doing everything within its reach to keep the society informed about the challenges posed by mental health and what could be done to reduce its spread and effects.
Declaring the event opened, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof Sulyman Age AbdulKareem, commended the Ilorin Neuroscience Group for its initiative.
The Vice-Chancellor, who was represented by Ag. Dean of the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Prof Lawrence A. Olatunji, urged each Faculty in the institution to come up with Inter-Departmental and Inter-Faculties Groups that can stand the test of time.(Daily Trust)