By Haruna Gimba
The Association of Psychiatrists in Nigeria (APN) said that there is only one psychiatrist to 900,000 Nigerians in the country.
According to the APN, the country has less than 300 psychiatrists attending to the Nigerian population approximated at 220 million.
Speaking with The Punch, President of APN, Professor Taiwo Obindo, said the recommendation of the World Health Organisation (WHO) is one psychiatrist for the 10,000 population.
He, however, said many psychiatrists were leaving Nigeria as a result of the brain drain in the profession.
Obindo said, “With less than 300 psychiatrists working in the country, the ratio of psychiatrists to the 220 million population will be about one to 900,000 population when the recommendation by WHO is one to 10,000. Some countries are even looking towards having one to 6,500 to 8,000.
The don said there was a need to train and retain more psychiatrists to stem the brain drain in the country.
He added, “I spoke with the president of psychiatrists in Canada and he said more than 150 Nigerian psychiatrists were known to them in Canada. In the United Kingdom, it’s likely to be more and then you have many more in the United States, working there.
“So, more trained psychiatrists are out of the country than those that are within the country. Well, we may add that a few died and a few retired but that number cannot account for the number we have on the ground.”