oa Central African Journal of Medicine - Psychiatric morbidity in a primary health care centre in a rural community in Nigeria

Volume 35, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



Two hundred and fourteen adult patients (148 females and 68 males) attended a Primary Health Care Facility in a rural community in Nigeria over a period of 4 weeks. 48 (22.4 percent) psychiatric cases were detected from tbe general out-patient and school clinics. All the cases suffered from neurotic illnesses. Depressive neurosis constituted 62.S percent of the cases while anxiety neurosis made up the remaining 37.5 percent. The health workers involved were only able to detect 7 (14.6 percent) of the 48 neurotic cases. The presenting complaints in many of the cases was in the form of physical symptoms like poor sleep, weakness and generalised body ache. The need to adequately train and actively involve primary health care workers in the detection and management of mental disorders presenting at primary health care level was emphasized.

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