The Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu, FNHE, has raised the alarm over the growing number of abandoned mental health patients in the hospital and asked the general public for assistance in their treatment and welfare.
Medical Director of the Hospital, Associate Professor Monday Igwe who raised the alarm during the hospital’s 2021 Thanksgiving and Town Hall Meeting, also solicited philanthropic gestures to offset the patients’ medical bills and meet up their daily needs.
Igwe further disclosed that the number of people with mental challenges has continued to rise, lamenting that the medical bills and up-keep of abandoned patients and the indigent ones have constituted an economic burden to the hospital.
He appealed to the Enugu State government, especially the governor’s wife, to add their patients to her schedule for Christmas visits and donations.
Igwe said: “We have some indigent patients as well as those patients abandoned by their relatives who currently the hospital and its staff are forced to feed, cloth and buy drugs for.
“By our calling and spirit of humanity in us, we cannot leave them to go out of the hospital care and premises as they will constitute a danger to themselves, others and property.
“We are calling on good-spirited Nigerians especially philanthropists, groups and faith-based organizations to come to our rescue in this aspect especially at this period of celebrations.
“People should remember these indigent and abandoned patients during this special season of sharing,” he said.
The medical director, however, said that the highest achievement of the hospital within the year was the restoration of peace and cordial working environment among management and staff as well as among staff to staff.
“There is a good working relationship between Management and Labour. No single staff member is denied his/her legitimate entitlements. We have cleared almost all arrears of salaries inherited from previous administration including salary shortfall in 2017, promotion arrears, uniform arrears for Nurses and many other withheld salaries that did not follow due process before being implemented,” Igwe said.
He said that the hospital was faced with challenges such as high electricity tariff, lack of public water supply, inadequate hostel accommodation for student nurses and payment of outstanding arrears of promotion from 2018 to 2020, among others.