Can digital applied sciences enhance entry to psychological healthcare in Nigeria?

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This text was written by Kelvin Okeoghene Opiepie, African Youth Transformation Ambassador and founding father of LEAD Group Basis. He examines if digital applied sciences might enhance entry to psychological healthcare in Nigeria. 

 

The fast development of digital applied sciences has introduced extra innovation than every other in human historical past, despite some detrimental impacts it has.

 

Earlier than I discuss extensively on the usage of digital applied sciences in psychological well being particularly in Low and Center Earnings International locations with emphasis on Africa/Nigeria, I’ll state the challenges individuals dwelling LMICs expertise with their psychological wellbeing, in order that we are able to higher perceive the usage of digital applied sciences in psychological well being and the impression it has on Low and Center Earnings International locations.

 

The challenges

It’s estimated that greater than 80% of individuals dwelling with a psychological sickness reside in low center revenue nations and about 85% of the world’s inhabitants reside within the 153 Low and Center Earnings International locations on earth. You possibly can see, the figures are excessive and this additionally exhibits there’s a psychological well being emergency.

In Nigeria as an example, lack of execs to diagnose psychological well being points is likely one of the main points dealing with the nation and with an estimate of over 200 million individuals however lower than 300 psychiatrists. There are solely 8-10 federal Neuro psychiatric hospitals within the nation and when these services can be found, the typical particular person can’t afford it thereby leaving a bigger inhabitants to self diagnose themselves with data on-line.

This can be a main downside and researchers can develop expertise that offers a fast however extra correct prognosis of psychological well being situations.

 

Are digital applied sciences the answer?

Digital expertise in psychological well being is commonly seen as an answer to problems with entry to psychological well being care. As researchers work on growing options, we have to look extra on how we are able to bridge the hole and accessing therapy by way of the usage of digital. Using assistive expertise can even have the ability to take psychological well being care from being establishment dependent from hospitals as a consequence of lack of facilities to cater for psychological well being must being group based mostly or dwelling based mostly which could be simply accessible by way of expertise.

In latest occasions, digital expertise has been launched into Nigeria to handle psychological well being points however as a consequence of lack of expertise of those purposes, the success charge of those applied sciences has been minimal. Data is vital

The prevalence of psychological well being points in Nigeria exhibits that an rising variety of persons are weak to temper issues at a while of their life and entry to psychological well being providers are low due to on-site psychological well being providers to handle them. Nevertheless, in latest occasions, digital applied sciences have been steadily rising over time however the principle issues confronting them are lack of entry to funding, absence of presidency by way of political will, regulatory frameworks and insurance policies.

One other barrier is adoption. How many individuals are conscious of those applied sciences? How many individuals have downloaded them? And those who have them may not even perceive the usage of it.

So there may be nonetheless a protracted strategy to go in terms of digital purposes of psychological well being in Nigeria.

Wish to learn extra in regards to the #MQScienceFestival? You possibly can learn in regards to the prime 5 calls to motion right here, or watch the entire shows and  discussions in regards to the utility of digital applied sciences in psychological well being under or on the MQ YouTube channel. 

 

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