As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to celebrate World Family Doctors Day, medical doctors have reached out to prison inmates to stem the rising number of inmates dealing with depression and suicide attempts.
South East Coordinator of Society of Family Physicians of Nigeria (SOFPON), Dr Jideuma Egwim who led 10 other doctors, made the disclosure during a health seminar organised by the body at the Owerri prisons, Imo State.
Egwim disclosed that research has shown that people in prison form a high number of people battling depression and anxiety over the restriction of movement and other forms of freedom.
According to him, “lack of understanding of such disorders may present prison inmates as violent,” saying the seminar will help the inmates and the staff deal better with concerns noting that May 19th (today) is world family doctors day the world over.
Doctor for Imo State Prisons, Dr Innocent Chukwuezi explained that confinement is enough to cause depression saying many inmates battle high blood pressure.
He expressed hopes that after the seminar, inmates will embrace meditation, relaxation, prayers amongst others to avoid depression and suicide thoughts.
Dr Chukwuezi advocated for the deployment of more doctors to the prison to enhance efficiency noting that he alone attends to over 2,000 inmates at the Owerri prison, as well as those at the Okigwe prisons, and Training school.
On his part, Deputy Controller of Owerri Prisons, Kalu Matthew disclosed that the command has received a new sewage truck for the disposal of the waste at the command.
It will be recalled that for over a year, the Owerri prisons environs emits offensive odour resulting from human faeces discharged into gutters.