Depression: Physician laments its prevalence among​ rural women

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By Steve Oni, Ilorin

A Senior Medical Officer in charge of Omupo Cottage Hospital in Irepodun local government area of Kwara state, Dr. Bakare Ismail Afolabi, has expressed concern over rising cases of depression in Nigeria, particularly among rural women, lamenting that research had shown that more women were being afflicted with depression.

He said: “From what we have seen, depression seems to be number one case of rural women.

“There are lots of things that affect women​ that we are not paying attention to, we are just paying leap service to it. Women need empowerment, we need laws, we need advocacy that will support the cause of women.”

Afolabil gave the startling revelation while delivering a health talk to mark the 2019 Press Week of the Kwara state Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Ilorin.

The medical expert who spoke on “Occupational health hazard being faced by journalists”, also identified stress as a major health issue affecting journalists in Nigeria and their counterparts in South East Asia. He said stress, if not well managed, could result in chronic ailments such as headache, high blood pressure, poor sleep, and sexual dysfunction.

Afolabi, who said journalists, like other professionals, were prone to injuries,​ epidemic in line of their duty, stressed the need for employers, government and other stakeholders to do more on Journalist’s safety, adding “we need to do more to manage stress because it
is the number​ one factor for mental health among Journalists”.

Highlighting the symptoms of stress, the medical expert said chronic stress could be said to be setting in when there is a “rise in​ heart beat, blood sugar, and rise in adrenal level “.

He listed causes of stress to include among other factors, “uncertainty in political dispensation, poverty,​ social issues and economic problem”.

For proper management of stress, the medical expert counseled Nigerians to develop a “positive attitude to life, we should believe that all will be well , know your limit, know that this is the level you can go. Consider your health first, be assertive, be optimistic, and be realistic to yourself”.

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