These people - We did it !

Mental health care and awareness in Nigeria
May 31, 2022
Sr Esther EKPO
We did it

In Nigeria, many sick women are destitute and ostracised, roaming the streets, rejected by all as "witches".

These vulnerable people are at the very least categorised as unproductive by their families and society, and very often as a threat to the safety of other people and the environment.

"They also fall prey to indigenous/traditional/herbal treatments that have little or no effect, and can be cruelly exposed to the experience of human trafficking in the region."

For a long time, patients with mental health problems were sent to Benin for treatment because there was no suitable or affordable infrastructure in their home country.

A quality welcome and follow-up

The Daughters of Charity have decided to welcome these people in local centres to ensure quality follow-up and care.

"Thanks to the Rosalie Projects, the 'These People' project has enabled us to provide relief services to many people who would not have been able to manage on their own in terms of treatment prospects."

Sr Esther, project leader.

The donations collected have enabled the purchase of medicines, laboratory kits and equipment for exercises in the therapeutic room.

In parallel with these actions, the sisters continue to raise awareness of mental illness among families and communities.

"The most difficult problem is the fear that people have of coming to the outreach centres we have started for fear of being stigmatised, of being known or seen by other families. The challenge is to make people aware of the effects of stigma. For those patients who agree to be treated, the gentle and humane approach we apply gives them confidence in our treatment and in the medication to be taken." Sr Esther

Beneficiaries testify

"Since I started the treatment in this hospital, my body, my head have become normal again".

Another epilepsy patient says: "Receiving treatment here has prevented me from falling, I don't fall anymore. I love you sisters".

The project is still in the development stage as there is a great need for this new service in this locality where the sisters face the great challenge of mental illness.

"We are grateful and we ask God to bless you. We thank you with all our heart! "Sr Esther