Public health aspects of mental health care: implications and risks in a state owned southern Nigerian Psychiatric Hospital

  • A.U. Nwaopara
  • O.O. Obikeze
  • F Ziba
  • R Borschmann
Keywords: Public, health risk, neglect, psychiatric hospital


Public health issues appear often ignored in hospital settings and lack of public health infrastructure like basic  hygiene facilities, being part of basic human requirement, affects the quality of life and patient’s physical and mental  health states and outcomes. This cross-sectional descriptive study examined the often-neglected public health  aspects of mental health care as exemplified by the risks associated with environmental health neglect in a state- owned psychiatric hospital in South-south Nigeria. Data was collected using the National Health Management  Information System-based Health Facility Daily Attendance Register (Version 2013), while Hospital In-patient  Facilities Checklist (for Psychiatric Units) was used for facility assessment and its compliance to standards. The data analysis was done using SPSS software Version 17. Results showed deficiencies in environmental health  infrastructure like absence of toilet facilities, window panes and mosquito nets and protocol/facilities for handling  sharps, as well as lack of bed-sheets or laundry facilities and inadequate beds; with many patients lying on the  ground. The common infections recorded in the hospital were malaria (13.5%), acute gastroenteritis (9.4%), and  those affecting the skin (8.5%). Thus, new policies that would favour good infrastructure and high standard of environmental hygiene in psychiatric hospitals are suggested to improve patient outcome.

Keywords: Public, health risk, neglect, psychiatric hospital


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2384-6828
print ISSN: 2315-6562