Traditional/Religious Rehabilitation Homes In Nigeria
By Jude Chukwuemeka
Sheriff Quadri commences the show by highlighting that the inability of appropriate government authority to institutionalize regulatory mechanisms for reformatory homes has been identified as being responsible for the dehumanizing state and proliferation of such facilities across Nigeria.
He also says that this problem is rife in the northern parts of Nigeria but he also mentions that government’s efforts to get rid of these places is long overdue.
In line with Human Rights Watch once reported that detention, chaining and violent treatment of mental health patients are pervasive "in many settings, including state hospitals, rehabilitation centres, traditional healing centres, and both Christian and Islamic faith-based facilities"
Nigerians Suffering From Mental Illness, Depression And Suicidal Tendencies (statistics)
According to World Health Organization, (WHO) 1 in 4 Nigerians suffer from some sort of mental illness. Wemimo Adewuni calculates that to mean that some 50 million people suffer from mental-related illnesses.
WHO emphasizes that Nigeria is home to Africa's highest rate of depression, the country ranks fifth in the world in the frequency of suicides being committed. It says here are less than 150 psychiatrists in the county. It also estimates that fewer than 10% of mentally ill Nigerians have access to the care needed. Human Rights Watch says that the total number of people released from abusive rehab institutions in the country since September 2019, is nearly 1,500
In 2019 so far: In Ibadan, about 360 young people were rescued by the Nigerian police from an Islamic rehabilitation centre. Many captives claimed that they were physically and sexually abused and chained up to prevent them from escaping.
In Zaria, the Nigerian police burst another torture centre in October 2019 revealed. In September, about 500 boys and men were rescued from a building in Kaduna. Three weeks after, more than 300 children and youths were freed by the Police from a small building called “reformation centre” at Sabon Gari area of Daura, Katsina State.
Christy Bature briefly speaks about 180 Degree Rehab Centre, Port Harcourt. She says her team doesn’t just believe that prayers can cure mental illness but they believe that spirituality is important for holistic healing.
She said it is not possible for a person, no matter what faith he or she belongs, to be well, except if the individual has spirituality. Her home attends to people who abuse substances and those addicted to sex.
Patients are often helped by a psychiatric doctor and then they go for rehabilitation. The centre is duly registered by government.
Commenting on the misconceptions attached to mental disorders, Dr. Kikelomo says there are a lot of misconception, superstitions and myths regarding mental health. “People erroneously believe that mental health is a sort of spiritual attack. But we found out that for example, a mentally challenged child may be delinquent and people may be thinking that he’s stubborn. A child with conduct disorder is prone to lying, truancy, avoiding school, may be stealing or vandalizing, etc.
Spirituality is not enough to help people who are victims of substance abuse. So no matter the abnormal traits a child is exhibiting, the parents should first let the child see a doctor. Are there homes for diabetes and hypertension? Why is it that it is only mental problems that people create homes for? Mental health is the basis of life.
“Flogging does nothing to reset a person’s brain. People believe that flogging chases that spirit away.”
Before she ends her remarks, Dr. Kikelomo says the situation is very serious and that government should declare a state of emergency in the country regarding it.
Want to get more information? Play the video below…
Adeshola Bello - Coordinating Manager, Freedom Foundation Lagos
Dr. Kikelomo - Psychiatrist, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Aro Lagos.
Mrs Christy Bature - 180 Degree Rehab Centre, Port Harcourt
#MorningCrossfire with @SheriffQuadry