Mental Health: Lagos Tackling Challenges With Building Of First Class Facilities – Sanwo-Olu

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LAGOS – Lagos state government as part of its strategy to tackle mental health challenges in the state and also reiterates its commitment to healthcare services, research and rehabilitation are building a first-class mental health institution in Ketu Ejirin.

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu stated this on Tuesday while speaking at the Lagos Mental Health Conference with the theme; ‘Responding to the mental health needs of a 21st-century megacity’ at the Landmark Event Centre, Oniru stated that the state is building a 500-bed psychiatric facility and 1000-bed rehabilitation facility.

Sanwo-Olu, who was represented at the conference by Dr Kadri Obafemi Hamzat his Deputy said the institution when completed, will be one of the largest in West Africa, if not in sub-Saharan Africa

“Our commitment to mental health is symbolized by the development of the Lagos State Mental Health Policy and Lagos State New Mental Health Law which was passed in 2019. This law provides for the protection of those suffering from stigmatization because of their illness and sets the framework for developing an effective and robust Mental Health Service for all Lagosians.

“We recognize the difficulties in accessing mental health services not necessarily because of non-availability of these services, even though the existing institutions and resources that provide these services are stretched to the fullest, more important factors are the lack of courage to come forward and seek help or insufficient awareness of where these services can be accessed.

“As a government, we are working to partner and collaborate with other sectors, to create a strong network of operations, facilities and programmes that will address some of these challenges.

“Our goal is to reduce by one-third, premature death through prevention and treatment, and promote mental health and well-being, in keeping with the Sustainable Development Goal for Health.

The Governor said the promotion of mental health and well-being, and the reduction of stigma and discrimination of mental illness, are priorities within the state’s development agenda for Health, which is to ensure that every citizen has access to effective and sustainable service delivery models.

“We have set the groundwork for the development of sustainable mental health care programs and services that will ensure improved health outcomes in the long-term. This will enable the State to become one of the forerunners in the delivery of sustainable, efficient and effective mental health services to its citizens in Lagos, Nigeria, and Africa as a whole.

“As you are well aware, Lagos State achieved the megacity status by virtue of its growing population in the early 2000s, and with most megacities, such population expansion has a huge impact on existing infrastructures and systems to meet the ever-expanding demand of her residents in order to be safe, and thrive.

“There are also public health implications of rapid population growth and urbanization which poses a variety of stressors on its inhabitants. One of such public health concerns is the growing scourge of poor mental health,” he said.

Professor Akin Abayomi, Lagos state Commissioner for Health in his welcome address stated that the promotion and protection of the health of residents of the state has a positive impact on social development and quality of life.

He said the continuous improvement in quality of health service in the State is a core mandate of the Ministry which is uniquely positioned to utilize its resources to actualize the same.

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Mental Health: Lagos Tackling Challenges With Building Of First Class Facilities – Sanwo-Olu
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By Oluseyi Taiwo-Oguntuase On Jan 18, 2022

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LAGOS – Lagos state government as part of its strategy to tackle mental health challenges in the state and also reiterates its commitment to healthcare services, research and rehabilitation are building a first-class mental health institution in Ketu Ejirin.

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu stated this on Tuesday while speaking at the Lagos Mental Health Conference with the theme; ‘Responding to the mental health needs of a 21st-century megacity’ at the Landmark Event Centre, Oniru stated that the state is building a 500-bed psychiatric facility and 1000-bed rehabilitation facility.

Sanwo-Olu, who was represented at the conference by Dr Kadri Obafemi Hamzat his Deputy said the institution when completed, will be one of the largest in West Africa, if not in sub-Saharan Africa.

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“Our commitment to mental health is symbolized by the development of the Lagos State Mental Health Policy and Lagos State New Mental Health Law which was passed in 2019. This law provides for the protection of those suffering from stigmatization because of their illness and sets the framework for developing an effective and robust Mental Health Service for all Lagosians.

“We recognize the difficulties in accessing mental health services not necessarily because of non-availability of these services, even though the existing institutions and resources that provide these services are stretched to the fullest, more important factors are the lack of courage to come forward and seek help or insufficient awareness of where these services can be accessed.

“As a government, we are working to partner and collaborate with other sectors, to create a strong network of operations, facilities and programmes that will address some of these challenges.

“Our goal is to reduce by one-third, premature death through prevention and treatment, and promote mental health and well-being, in keeping with the Sustainable Development Goal for Health.

The Governor said the promotion of mental health and well-being, and the reduction of stigma and discrimination of mental illness, are priorities within the state’s development agenda for Health, which is to ensure that every citizen has access to effective and sustainable service delivery models.

“We have set the groundwork for the development of sustainable mental health care programs and services that will ensure improved health outcomes in the long-term. This will enable the State to become one of the forerunners in the delivery of sustainable, efficient and effective mental health services to its citizens in Lagos, Nigeria, and Africa as a whole.

“As you are well aware, Lagos State achieved the megacity status by virtue of its growing population in the early 2000s, and with most megacities, such population expansion has a huge impact on existing infrastructures and systems to meet the ever-expanding demand of her residents in order to be safe, and thrive.

“There are also public health implications of rapid population growth and urbanization which poses a variety of stressors on its inhabitants. One of such public health concerns is the growing scourge of poor mental health,” he said.

Professor Akin Abayomi, Lagos state Commissioner for Health in his welcome address stated that the promotion and protection of the health of residents of the state has a positive impact on social development and quality of life.

He said the continuous improvement in quality of health service in the State is a core mandate of the Ministry which is uniquely positioned to utilize its resources to actualize the same.


While giving a summary of findings of collective studies across Africa in 2021, he said 10 percent of the population has symptoms of clinically depression, 1.5 percent of the population frequently has thoughts of suicide or deliberate self-harm and that depression is more common amongst females, those in lower-income groups and unmarried.

He also said 16 percent of the population has clinically significant anxiety symptoms, average of 10 percent of the population has combined anxiety and depression and that anxiety is more common amongst females and those in lower-income groupsProfessor Abayomi further stated that about 20 percent of the population has clinically significant unexplainable somatic symptoms and that somatic symptoms are more common amongst females, married people, and those in lower-income groups. .