A medical consultant, Dr Adamu Audu, has called on Kogi State Government to establish a psychiatric hospital to handle rising cases of mental illness in the state.
Audu told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lokoja on Saturday that the hospital should be established urgently, in view of the increasing cases of mental illness in the recent times.
He attributed the development to rising wave of drug abuse among the youth, traumatic experiences and brain injuries resulting from accidents.
Audu conceded that there were no clear statistics on the number of mentally challenged persons in Kogi, adding, however, that there were indicators showing an increase in mental cases.
He advised the state government to give special attention to mental health, adding that people suffering from mental disorders needed empathy and special attention from government and the society at large.
Audu, a consultant in Kogi Specialist Hospital, also underscored the need to equip existing health institutions in the state with requisite facilities and qualified personnel to manage cases of mental disorder.
He also urged the government to set up rehabilitation centres to cater for victims of drug addiction and mental disorders.
Besides, Audu said that enlightenment campaigns on the dangers of drug abuse and reckless lifestyles should be organised.
He advised the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to intensify their efforts to curb drug abuse.
However, Alhaji Idris Bello, the NDLEA Commander in the state, said that the command lacked rehabilitation facilities for drug addicts, operational vehicles and funding.
Bello urged the people of the state to report cases of drug abuse and suspected drug traders to the relevant authorities to curb the production, trafficking and abuse of illicit drugs. (NAN)

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