Physician laments prevalent cases of depression amongst rural women

Community public physicians, Bakare Ismail Afolabi, have expressed concern over rising cases of depression prevalent amongst rural women.

Delivering a health talk to mark 2019 Press Week of the Kwara state council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Ilorin, a community public physician and senior medical officer in charge of Omupo cottage hospital in Irepodun local government area of the state, Dr. Bakare Ismail Afolabi, said that research being conducted by the hospital at its psychiatric unit indicated that more women are being diagnosed with depression in the hospital.

“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 lip services to it. Women need empowerment, we need laws, we need advocacy that will support the cause of women,” he said.

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The medical expert, who spoke on the “Occupational health hazard being faced by journalists”, also identified stress as a major health issue affecting journalists in Nigeria and their counterparts in the south- east Asia.

He identified stress as “body’s reaction to normal life events” which according to him, if not well managed could result into chronic one with resultant effects such as headache, poor sleep, and sexual dysfunctions.”

Afolabi said journalists just like other professionals were prone to “injuries, disease outbreaks and epidemic,” in line of duties.

“We need to do more on journalists’ safety, we need to do more to manage stress. Stress is the number one list factor for mental health in journalists,” he said.

Highlighting the symptoms of stress, the medical expert said chronic stress could be said to be set in when there is a “rise in heartbeat, blood sugar, and rise in adrenal level.”

He listed the 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 counselled Nigerians to develop a “positive attitude to life, we should have 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, learn to say no, realistic to yourself.”

He said home management of stress could also be achieved by consuming oath meals, cereals, cabbage, smoked fish and also engaging in a coordinated exercise which he said will also prevent memory loss especially, at old age.

He, however, cautioned that indulgence “in drugs, illicit sexual activities” are not solution to stress management.”

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