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1 in 4 Nigerians suffers from mental disorders, physiologist says



By Fatima Mohammed-Lawal

Professor Bamidele Owoyele, president of the Ilorin Neuroscience Group (ING), says that one in four Nigerians suffers from some form of mental disorder or another.

Owoyele, professor of physiology at the University of Ilorin, said this Monday during the first global engagement and advocacy program.

The event was organized by ING in collaboration with the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) of the University of Ilorin.

According to him, the upsurge in the incidence of mental disorders in the country is favored by drug addiction and the increasing burden of neurological diseases.

The donation called on government at all levels to make more budget allocations for the health sector, saying the 2% allocation often reserved for the health sector was too small for the country’s health needs.

Owoyele also called on philanthropists nationwide to emulate their counterparts in the advanced world by helping fund research, which would generate effective solutions to brain disease.

The president of ING also implored the authorities concerned to engage in more public awareness programs in order to educate members of the public on participation in research.

He said such efforts would aid in the early detection of certain neurological disorders and the discovery of therapeutic interventions.

Previously, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Professor Sulyman Abdulkareem, congratulated ING on its initiative.

Abdulkareem, represented by the acting dean of the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Professor Lawrence Olatunji, urged each faculty in the institution to create interdepartmental and inter-faculty groups that can stand the test of time.

He also expressed the hope that ING and other planned groups would step up the game so as to attract international support that would not only improve the visibility of members, but also further enhance the image of the university.

Abdulkareem also expressed his belief that the group would be more intellectually and professionally empowered to publish its own journal, which he said will be of international standard and will also stand the test of time.

Professor Kolawole Wahab, director of the Center for the Development of Research and Internal Training of the university, in his presentation entitled: “Burden of Neurological Diseases and National Development”, underlined the role of public and private organizations in the funding of neuroscience research in Nigeria.

Wahab said the lasting solution to the problems faced in the practice of neuroscience in the country was to continue the advocacy of government agencies and private organizations.

He stressed the need to explore external funding sources, write fundable proposals, put in place the right mentorship and seek collaborations to create enviable impact.

“We can’t solve problems using the kind of thinking we used when we created them,” he said.

Wahab, also a professor of medicine and a consultant neurologist, identified the lack of funding as one of the problems that have driven the country back in health research.

He listed other issues, including inadequate programs to prepare students to choose neuroscience as a study program, lack of research infrastructure, inadequate career development programs and a low number of neuroscientists on the continent. African. (NOPE)


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