By Peter Duru
Makurdi – The Comprehensive Community Mental Health Programme, CCMHP, has trained another set of 52 healthcare providers for mental health treatment services in Benue State.
The five-day rigorous capacity building focused on the diagnosis and treatment of Mental, Neurological and Substance, MNS, use disorders using the Who Health Organization, WHO, Mental Health Gap Action Programme Intervention Guide.
Speaking at the end of the training, the Project Coordinator, Ogbole Samuel Okpoju stated that the WHO Mental Health Gap Action Programme Intervention Guide was a tool/manual developed for use by non-specialists for diagnosing and treating MNS use disorders.
He observed that MNS use disorders were highly prevalent, accounting for a large burden of the disease and disability globally.
Okpoju said “as part of its dedication to improving the quality of lives of persons with MNS use disorders through treatment services as its top component, Comprehensive Community Mental Health Programme in collaboration with the Benue State Ministry Health, through the Benue State Primary Healthcare Board, and Benue State Command of the Nigerian Prison Services selected and trained healthcare providers with minimum qualification of Community Health Extension Worker.
“With the target of taking mental health treatment services to the community and prison settings through the primary healthcare structure, the project has trained a total of 132 healthcare providers to diagnose and treat mental health disorders in Benue State.”
Continuing, the Project Coordinator said, “there remains a wide gap between available health systems capacity and resources, what is urgently needed, and what is available to reduce the burden.
“Nearly one in 10 people have a mental health disorder, but only one percent of the global health workforce provides mental health care.”
He also maintained that the goal of the supporting organization “which is the Christian Blinden Mission, CBM, is to improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities in the poorest countries of the world.
“Since mental illness is a form of disability and through funding from the Australian government, Comprehensive Community Mental Health Programme of the Methodist Church Nigeria, Otukpo Diocese is determined to activate and strengthen partnerships with willing organizations and private practitioners to ensure that persons with diagnosable mental health disorders get the attention and intervention that they need in healthcare facilities closest to them and at the cheapest possible rate through its Drug Revolving Fund scheme.”
The Project Coordinator applauded the Benue State Command of the Nigerian Prison Service for the recently activated partnership towards ensuring mental health treatment services and promotion in the state prison service.Mental health: ‘Unbreakable’ movie shows in port-Harcourt
“This will ensure that not just the mental health of the inmates is ensured, but also that the staff and members of the prison community benefit from the partnership,” he stated.
Okpoju further disclosed that the CCMHP had in 2018 trained medical doctors in the 23 General Hospitals across the 23 local government area of State to add to its long list of trained healthcare providers and also strengthen referral pathways.