By Efosa Taiwo

President of the World Medical Association, Dr. Osahon Enabulele has called for an end to the stigmatization and discrimination of people with mental health issues.

Enabulele who is also the immediate past president of the Commonwealth Medical Association said this at the 2nd Vanguard Mental Health Summit held in Lagos on Thursday with the theme: Mental Health in a Distressed Economy.

He stated that people with mental health issues deserve to be treated with dignity while there is a collaborative effort to address the root causes of the issues.

He called on the government to pay more attention to mental health issues by devoting at least 2% of the annual health budget to it as well as increasing advocacy.

He said, “As we seek to advance mental health in Nigeria, I wish to call on our President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR to kindly assent to the Mental Health Bill. This will substantially help to address the challenge of mental health in Nigeria, including strengthening and regulation of mental health services, development of appropriate and adequate manpower/Human Resource for Health, etc.

“I equally call on Mr. President to work harder to improve the socio-economic life of Nigeria and its citizens.

“I also wish to to call for value re-orientation, increased advocacy, education, and awareness creation as well as increased financial protection for people with mental health problem and a dedicated budget for Family Health and Mental Health of not less than 2% of the Annual Health Budget.

“Importantly, we must seek to end stigmatization and discrimination against people with mental health problem. While we seek to address the root causes of mental health problems, affected people deserve to be treated with dignity.”

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