By Daniel Ayantoye
A team leader of Community Based Experience and Service (COBES), of the University of Ilorin, Mr. Adetona Kamaldeen, has revealed that 1.5 million Nigerians suffer depression with about 300m globally.
Speaking at a COBES assessment programme held at the College of Health Sciences in Ilorin, Kwara State on Saturday, he said findings have shown that people in rural communities were gradually becoming depressed.
He also noted that isolation is one of the factors leading to depression and debilitating diseases as another.
Also speaking, another COBES team leader from Alakuko community, Mr Audu Cyprian said that arthritis and hypertension were the prevalent diseases in the communities.
Presenting findings by the team at Ipee, Mr Ipinmisho Adetola submitted that child neglect, stress, sleep disorders and substance abuse were factors causing depression.
In his remarks, Provost of the College of Health Sciences of the University, Prof Abdulwahab Johnson, described depression as mental health and should be given importance just like physical health.
He applauded the medical students, adding that they had done well in their community experience.
Also speaking at the event, Dr Uthman Mubashir, COBES coordinator appealed to the government to sustain such initiatives.
He explained that the students develop love and need to serve the nation when they are exposed early to the plights of rural communities.
According to him, such initiative can also stop brain drain witnessed in the country in the health sector.
Some of the communities the medical students were posted to for COBES included, Oke-Ose, Ijagbo, Apado, Alakuko, Igbonla, Ipee and Iponrin.
Meanwhile community leaders have lauded the medical students of the University of Ilorin on efforts to stem depression in rural communities.
Chief Onire Afolabi of Igbonla Kingdom, Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State made the commendation on behalf of the communities on Saturday.
Afolabi noted that they were ignorant of any condition known as depression until the advent of the medical students who lived in their midst for a period of one month.
“We didn’t know that our people are suffering from depression and isolating themselves from other people.
“The young doctors were so caring and well behaved and took time to engage all our community members both young and old on depression and how to seek treatment,” he said.
Mrs Mary Kolo, a representative of Alakuko community in Ifelodun Local Area of Kwara noted that the students exhibited love and passion for the community.
She added that they engaged the communities with series of exercise regiment.
According to her, they made pamphlets explaining depression in Yoruba language and equipped health facilities.