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 may enhance entry to psychological healthcare in Nigeria.
The speedy development of digital applied sciences has introduced extra innovation than every other in human historical past, despite some damaging impacts it has.
Earlier than I speak extensively on using digital applied sciences in psychological well being particularly in Low and Center Revenue International locations with emphasis on Africa/Nigeria, I’ll state the challenges folks dwelling LMICs expertise with their psychological wellbeing, in order that we are able to higher perceive using digital applied sciences in psychological well being and the influence it has on Low and Center Revenue International locations.
It’s estimated that greater than 80% of individuals dwelling with a psychological sickness live in low center revenue international locations and about 85% of the world’s inhabitants stay within the 153 Low and Center Revenue International locations on earth. You’ll be able to see, the figures are excessive and this additionally reveals there’s a psychological well being emergency.
In Nigeria as an illustration, lack of execs to diagnose psychological well being points is without doubt one of the main points going through the nation and with an estimate of over 200 million folks however lower than 300 psychiatrists. There are solely 8-10 federal Neuro psychiatric hospitals within the nation and when these amenities can be found, the common individual can’t afford it thereby leaving a bigger inhabitants to self diagnose themselves with info on-line.
This can be a main drawback and researchers can develop know-how that provides a fast however extra correct prognosis of psychological well being situations.
Are digital applied sciences the answer?
Digital know-how in psychological well being is commonly seen as an answer to problems with entry to psychological well being care. As researchers work on creating options, we have to look extra on how we are able to bridge the hole and accessing therapy by using digital. The usage of assistive know-how may even have the ability to take psychological well being care from being establishment dependent from hospitals attributable to lack of facilities to cater for psychological well being must being group based mostly or house based mostly which may be simply accessible by way of know-how.
In latest occasions, digital know-how has been launched into Nigeria to handle psychological well being points however attributable to lack of knowledge of those functions, the success fee of those applied sciences has been minimal. Data is essential
The prevalence of psychological well being points in Nigeria reveals that an rising variety of persons are susceptible to temper problems at a while of their life and entry to psychological well being companies are low due to on-site psychological well being companies to handle them. Nevertheless, in latest occasions, digital applied sciences have been steadily rising through the years however the principle issues confronting them are lack of entry to funding, absence of presidency when it comes to 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 people who have them won’t even perceive using it.
So there’s nonetheless a protracted option to go relating to digital functions of psychological well being in Nigeria.
You’ll be able to watch the #MQScienceFestival discussions concerning the software of digital applied sciences in psychological well being under or on the MQ YouTube channel.