Worried that clinicians use trial and error of evidenced- based medicines in treatment of mental illness in Nigeria, private individuals are taking the initiative in moving the sector forward.
Last week, Chief medical Directors from Neuropsychiatric Hospitals in Nigeria and Professors of psychiatry were hosted in Abuja by Primly Services Nigeria and Synapse Services in what was tagged a stakeholders meeting to discuss new treatments in mental health.
The chief host and Medical Director of Synapse Services Mental Health and Rehabilitation centres in Nigeria, Dr. Vincent Udenze, also a Consultant Psychiatrist, stated that he was keen to see partnerships between the government and private sector organisations in improving the practice of mental health care in Nigeria.
He said that it saddens him to see new treatment measures in the western world that are not available in Nigeria.
The United Kingdom- based consultant psychiatrist, said in Nigeria, medication is not easily available.
According to him, "not only are we 10 years behind, but we also don't get the best generics and that it is not the best generics that enter into the country, sometimes
"There's need to embrace change by the residents and give patients available choices so that they can make decisions for themselves.
Udenze said he wanted all the medical Directors to look at ways of influencing manufacturers of medications and equipment used in mental health to reduce prices for sale of their products in Nigeria.
Also in his remarks at the event, the professor of Psychiatry, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Dr. Jude Ohaeri, said the main thrust of the programme are four and the overall one is to bring together experts, to the people who understand and can further the objectives of mental health care delivery in the country.
He said it was to bring together a forum whereby they can put heads together and bring out health care services in the country, not just the development but bringing new ideas, new way of diagnosing patients problems and new ways of treatment.
The second objective he said was about the new way of diagnosis and treatment.
On his part, the medical director, Federal Psychiatric Hospital, Maiduguri, Dr. Ibrahim Abdulwakawa, said as a psychiatric, he is sometimes confronted with questions from patients like, "Doctor you started treating me without conducting a test."
He said that has been very challenging because most of the diagnosis is based on synchronic approach; "the presence of certain symptoms, you match them and you reach a diagnosis so the importance of this workshop is that it matches signs with clinical practice.
The medical director explained, "With the symptoms you generate, you take samples and it will help you in reaching or deciding on appropriate treatment to render."
He said some of the challenges in addressing these problems are that some of the first germs sect helps in determining the right drug to be used on person with depression.
The lead Consultant psychiatrist of the Genomid -Primly Genecept project, Dr. Nwife Akhator-Eneka, introduced the group to this new investigation.
She said the new gene assay would study about 18 genes in a patient's body and determine which medication is likely going to work for the patient and side effects a patient might likely develop.
According to her, the technology also tells which patients are like going to be addicted to pain killers used in oncology or pain from trauma example accidents, saying, "This is revolutionary as it will significantly reduce time wasted trying different medications."