The Nigeria Association of Psychiatric Nurses, Enugu State Chapter, has called on the National Assembly to immediately pass the Mental Health Act for the interest of the health sector.
Chairman of the union, Mr. Afam Ndu, who addressed journalists in Enugu, on Wednesday, ahead of the 2015 World Mental Health Day, described as unfortunate “a situation where the country still operates with a mental health act inherited from Britain in 1959.”
According to him, activities for the programme are being packaged in Enugu by the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu, Association of Psychiatric Nurse of Nigeria, Enugu State Chapter in collaboration with Faculty of Psychiatry and Mental Health Nursing of West African College of Nursing.
Ndu, who said the need for the passage of the act had become expedient in view of the emerging health challenges, noted that “we need the act because the rights of the mental patients are very fundamental. It is very shameful that Nigeria does not have mental health law.
“So, in view of this, we are calling on both chambers of the National Assembly to, as a matter of urgency, pass that Act.”
While calling for more community-based psychiatric programmes and clinics, the union equally urged the relevant authorities to review issues of allowances for nurses.
Giving insight into the activities for this year’s World Mental Health Day, Ndu, who is also the regional chairman, faculty of psychiatric and mental health nursing, West African College of Nursing, disclosed that there would be a medical outreach programme on October 10, road walk, motorcade, and end with an inter-dominational church service.”