Since 2012, Cochrane Nigeria has been holding sessions with media practitioners tagged media roundtable. The purpose of the roundtable is to engage the media on important public health problems affecting Nigerians. On October 28th, 2018, we held another media roundtable that focused on mental health. The specific topic for discussion was post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is because there has been an increase in the incidence of PTSD in Nigeria as a result of the various humanitarian crises in the country; Millions of people have been displaced from their homes.
Consequently, these displaced people are exposed to many untoward conditions. In addition, there has been an upsurge of violent crimes in Nigeria because of the poor economic condition. Many people are traumatized including the soldiers who fight the terrorists. Doctor Bassey Edet, a consultant Psychiatrist at the Neuropsychiatry hospital Calabar, and a Research associate at Cochrane Nigeria, made a presentation on the causes of PTSD. Thereafter, Emmanuel Effa, a Nephrologist and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Calabar, also the training coordinator at Cochrane Nigeria presented the findings from a Cochrane review “Psychological therapies for the treatment of mental disorders in low- and middle- income countries affected by humanitarian crises”
The roundtable discussion was very interactive especially during the question and answer session. Twelve journalists from different print and electronic media organization attended the roundtable discussion. Also in attendance at the media roundtable were Professor Angela Oyo-Ita (Co-director, Cochrane Nigeria), Moriam Chibuzor (communication officer), Dr Olabisi Oduwole (Cochrane African Network (CAN) West African hub coordinator) and other members of staff. Our expectation is that the media will create awareness among the public about the PTSD and the evidence that is provided by the Cochrane review.
Written by Olabisi Oduwole (Cochrane African Network West African hub coordinator ) & Moriam Chibuzor (Communication officer Cochrane Nigeria)