The Federal Neuro-psychiatric Hospital Yaba (FNPHY) has organised a research conference to upgrade its operations and be up-to-date with new methodologies of the profession for improved service delivery.
The Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Cecilia Ogun made this known during the 3rd Annual Research Conference organised by the hospital in Lagos.
The theme of the conference was: “Mental Health and COVID-19 Pandemic: Implications for Research and Practice”.
Ogun decried the effects of COVID-19 Pandemic on activities and services of the hospital, saying that the methods, procedures and system of operations in the hospital were all affected.
She said that the outbreak of Coronavirus disease resulted to increase in economic hardship, leading to corresponding increase in psychiatric cases across the country.
Ogun said that patients were being attended to in an open space to pave way for proper social distancing; this was with the view to curb spread or contraction of the deadly Coronavirus disease, adding that there has been strict adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols in the hospital since the outbreak of Coronavirus disease till date.
According to her, research revealed a high burden of psychological/psychiatric morbidity among persons treated for COVID-19, particularly persons who have prior emotional concerns.
The Medical Director emphasised the need to pay more attention to the mental health of people during disease outbreaks and incorporating psychosocial intervention as part of the interventions.
“Stress induced by COVID-19, if not properly managed can lead to severe psychological and psychiatric illnesses. We have already observed increased incidences of new psychiatric cases and relapse in our institution.
“The pandemic has negatively affected the mental health of many people. Barriers have been created for people already suffering from mental illness and substance use disorder.
“Recently, Neuro-Psychiatric complications of COVID-19 infections are being reported and all these have stressed our already existing fragile mental health system, making it imperative for us to change our approach to delivering mental health services to our numerous patients, in order to protect both staff and the clients,” Ogun said.
Also speaking, a Consultant Psychiatrist, Prof. Victor Lasebikan, identified funding as the major impediment to execution of research in Nigeria.
Lasebikan said that people that would have carried out one research or the other were discouraged due to poor funding, lack of support, economic problems among others.
According to him, there is urgent need to promote and encourage research development in the country as Nigeria is one of the countries with least research engagements.
He, therefore, urged the governments to intensify more efforts towards creating support windows and grants to aid research projects.
The Consultant, however, enjoined Researchers to endeavour to identify and access the few available grant windows in the course of execution of their research projects.
Another Consultant Psychiatrist Prof. Olatunji Aina advise that Nigerians should not relent in the fight against spread and contraction of the Coronavirus disease.
Aina said that people should continue to maintain the lead down safety measures against spread and contraction of the novel Coronavirus disease.