Ban On Codeine: Lagos Unveils Comprehensive Strategy To Address Mental Health

The Lagos State Government on Friday said complete plans are at present being firmed up to generally address prevalence of drug abuse under the psychological health policy in the State, revealing regulation to that effect has already been updated.

The Federal Government had on Tuesday directed the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to stop further issuance of permits for the importation of Codeine as active pharmaceutical ingredient for cough preparations with immediate effect in response to the gross abuse of Codeine usage in the country.

Speaking on the annual Ministerial Press Briefing to mark the third anniversary of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration held at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre in Alausa, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris stated before and after the ban was introduced, the State Government had been partaking with key stakeholders, adding that it was vital for serious attention to be concentrated on mental well being issue and affiliated matters.

Responding to a question on what the State Government was doing in that regard, Idris said: “On the issue of Codeine, that could be very interesting and the query is how are we as, a Ministry, making certain the compliance by manufacturers. I need to let you know that the Drug Control Unit in the Ministry could be very active. We are additionally working along with NAFDAC. The ban principally is a NAFDAC initiative however as a State Government we didn’t wait; we’re extra proactive and ever since this issue came into light, the Ministry has been engaging and very soon, we’ll come out with a more comprehensive programme.

“This is because we would not look at Codeine alone; we are going to take a look at it under drug abuse. Codeine is just one substance out of many which might be being abused. It additionally goes to show you the extent of the psychological health scenario in our country and that is why like we stated something in the past that we’re putting extra emphasis now on mental health. It is a severe issue; it’s one area of the health sector that people usually do not even address and that is why as a State Government we’re being proactive.

“In line with this, we have updated our personal mental well being law as against what is happening on the federal level; we’ve got a psychological health coverage and we’re currently now implementing our mental health programme to cover all tiers – primary, secondary and tertiary well being care systems. This is a comprehensive thing and there is no doubt about the reality that there is a major mental well being drawback in our nation and this Codeine is just a tip of the iceberg,” the Commissioner stated.

Speaking on activities of the State Government in health sector in the last one year, Idris stated it was gratifying to report that the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) successful performed its first open-heart surgery on a 32-year-old affected person solely by indigenous cardiac surgery staff, as well as fourth successful cochlear implant and kidney transplant surgeries, while LASUTH in conjunction with Rotary International and Alliance for Smile successfully carried out surgeries for six patients with cleft lip palate deformity

He stated a total of 61 Primary Health Care Centres (PHCs) were either constructed or upgraded and furnished with medical equipment within the period under review, while 38 others are ongoing, in addition to approval given by the Governor for 1,000 health staff to be recruited for the PHC system.

Apart from new entry road and gate constructed in LASUTH, the Commissioner said the Child Care Centre in any other case generally known as Ayinke House in LASUTH can be commissioned in June this yr by the Governor, while the phased set up of CCTV with a monitoring room to enhance safety of lives and property within the hospital in about 36 strategic areas was currently being done.

He said major rehabilitation works were also carried out in Epe General Hospital, General Hospital, Lagos; Onikan Health Centre, Randle General Hospital, Surulere; Accident and Emergency Centre, Toll Gate; Agbowa General Hospital, Ijede Health Centre; completed School of Nursing Hostel, Igando; procured 30 automated external defibrillator for Lagos State Ambulance Services, as well as procured N2billion worth of equipment for health staff.

The Commissioner stated as a follow-up to the successful containment of Ebola outbreak, the State Government in collaboration with Global Partnership Programme, Canada was in the process of establishing a Bio-Containment and Bio-Safety Laboratory within the premises of the Lagos Mainland Hospital, Yaba to facilitate prompt diagnose of diseases of public health importance, while the Health Insurance Scheme of the State Government would begin in 2018.

“On health insurance, we’re doing every thing to ensure that the scheme is successful. Already, we have given formal letters of award to chose seven medical insurance brokers. So far, 179 personal and 68 public primary care facilities, and 27 General Hospital together with LASUTH have satisfied the minimum required requirements for the scheme. An further 42 public PHCs will be added.

“The one per cent of the consolidated revenue earmarked by law as authorized by the House of Assembly as equity has been budgeted for in 2018 appropriation. This scheme will commence this year; I’m very sure of that,” Idris stated.