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 speedy development of digital applied sciences has introduced extra innovation than another in human historical past, regardless of some adverse impacts it has.
Earlier than I discuss extensively on the usage of digital applied sciences in psychological well being particularly in Low and Center Revenue Nations 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 affect it has on Low and Center Revenue Nations.
It’s estimated that greater than 80% of individuals dwelling with a psychological sickness live in low center earnings nations and about 85% of the world’s inhabitants stay within the 153 Low and Center Revenue Nations on earth. You possibly can see, the figures are excessive and this additionally reveals there’s a psychological well being emergency.
In Nigeria for example, lack of execs to diagnose psychological well being points is among the main points going through 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 individual can’t afford it thereby leaving a bigger inhabitants to self diagnose themselves with data on-line.
It is a main drawback and researchers can develop expertise that offers a fast however extra correct prognosis of psychological well being circumstances.
Are digital applied sciences the answer?
Digital expertise in psychological well being is usually 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 remedy by means 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 attributable to lack of facilities to cater for psychological well being must being neighborhood primarily based or house primarily based which may be simply accessible through expertise.
In current instances, digital expertise has been launched into Nigeria to handle psychological well being points however attributable to lack of information of those functions, the success charge of those applied sciences has been minimal. Info is vital
The prevalence of psychological well being points in Nigeria reveals that an growing variety of persons are susceptible to temper problems 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 current instances, digital applied sciences have been steadily rising over time 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 the usage of it.
So there may be nonetheless a protracted approach to go relating to digital functions of psychological well being in Nigeria.
Wish to learn extra concerning the #MQScienceFestival? You possibly can learn concerning the prime 5 calls to motion right here, or watch the entire displays and discussions concerning the software of digital applied sciences in psychological well being beneath or on the MQ YouTube channel.