No fewer than 120 psychiatric patients at the Psychiatric Hospital Eket, in Akwa Ibom State, have been treated, discharged and reintegrated with their families, says an official of the health facility.
This was confirmed by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong, who, however, noted that the exercise was not carried out by his ministry but that of Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare.
A medical doctor, who pleaded anonymity, told journalists in Eket that the exercise of discharge and integration took place on June 7 this year. According to him, the discharged patients were taken to their respective families within and outside the state by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare, adding that, there are to come to the hospital for assessment and evaluation after a month.
“Last Thursday was the day we discharged and integrated these former lunatics with their families; government embarked on a mop-up exercise and brought the lunatics to psychiatric hospital for two months. They were under intensive psychotic care in the hospital before they were discharged to their families.
“During their two months, the rate of lunatics on the streets of Eket, Ikot-Ekpene and Uyo reduced because the exercise was targeted at the three local government areas. The government has done well to take them away from the streets to reduce the nuisance they constituted to the public.
“These people will be with their families, take their medications and come back after one month for their medical check-up. They were taken to their families in Lagos, Enugu, Abia, Imo, Uyo and Cross River. Money was given to them for support and upkeep before their coming back for medical check-up in a month’s time,” he said.
The medical doctor commended the generosity of the state governor, Udom Emmanuel, and appealed to the relatives and parents of the discharged inmates to complement the efforts of the state by providing care and love to the people.