By Chioma Obinna
To ensure full implementation of its Mental Health Policy, the Lagos State Ministry of Health, has concluded plans to begin mental health screening at various motor parks across the state.

The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris who disclosed this while briefing journalists in Lagos on the ministry’s 2012 activities,  said the policy which is all encompassing, will also deal with various mental health challenges such as depression. According to him, the exercise is part of the State Government’s policy to guarantee free treatment of mental disorders at all levels of care.

Idris who lamented the discrimination associated with mental disorders, explained that mental health also includes issues such as depression, work stress and anxiety as well as drug related. problems.

He said: “ The exercise will take care of anxiety, work-related stress and road accidents through adequate checks for drug use and alcohol consumption. These illnesses may not necessarily be psychosis but untreated minor mental illnesses which affect the quality of life.

We want to look at the issues of drugs and alcohol and how it affects morbidity and mortality.  It will also include screening for diabetes and hypertension. We will also want to break discrimination associated with mental health. Apart from free screening, persons with mental cases will be offered referral to specialist services for further assessment, treatment and care if they require”.

Speaking on the State’s School Health programmes, Idris who noted that the programme would be reviewed to prevent blindness and other ailments said the ministry intends to continue with the various ongoing health projects such as the building of the new Ayinke House, the Gbagada Cardiac and Renal Centre, Alausa Staff Clinic and others as well as other health programmes in the state.

“We will only embark upon new projects if it is absolutely necessary. We will also be paying particular attention to infrastructure, human resources, healthcare financing, staffing, disease control and adequate regulations and control to ensure quality care for all,” he added.

On public secondary health facilities, he said the scaling up of  infrastructure was essentially to decongest the tertiary health facility by providing quality services.

Stating that all on going projects will be completed this year, he said the state government is transforming Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH and Lagos State University College of Medicine, LASUCOM, to centres of excellence with respect to statutory functions of research, training and clinical service.

Some of the projects include; the construction and equipping of four storey 100 -bed Maternal and Child Health Complexes at Ajeromi, Ikorodu, Isolo and Ifako-Ijaiye General Hospitals and Gbaja, Surulere, the construction and equipping of four storey 110 -bed Maternal and Child Health Complex at Amuwo Odofin, Alimosho and Lekki, the construction and equipping of 20 bed Highway Accident and Emergency Centre at the Toll gate, Lagos Ibadan Expressway, the construction of a new staff clinic for the Secretariat at Alausa-Ikeja, construction of a three storey 80 bed integrated trauma and burns centre at the LASUTH Annex, Gbagada, construction of three floor building at Harvey Road Health Centre, construction of a new School of Nursing in Alimosho.


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