Maryland University Partners Imo State   Govt Agency For HIV/AIDS Control On 5-Day Mental Health Training 

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By Onyeananam Chidinma

The University of Maryland in collaboration with Imo State Agency for the Control of Aids has embarked on a 5-day mental Health Training program to improve the life of persons living with HIV/AIDS.

The ongoing Capacity building , cum research and training  program  taking  place  at  Villas -Sur -Rive Hotel in the capital city of Owerri , from 3rd -8th December have participants from the health sector , clergy , and other sector of the economy  in attendance.

Addressing newsmen , the program manager cum local support personnel  Dr. Ijeoma Ibeh expressed  happiness on the event ,she said the program will serve as an avenue for health facilities to know how  to handle  mental health  related challenges in HIV/AIDS patients., she expressed dismay on the high rate of youths involved  in the abuse of drugs.

Also in her speech , the representative of Global health University of Maryland school of nursing Dr. Challotte  Nwogwugwu commended the program, she maintained that it will be an access point for health facilities to diagnose , treat, and create awareness about mental health conditions in HIV/AIDS patients.

A consultant Psychiatrist at the federal University teaching hospital Owerri, Dr.Inechi MacDonald said the root cause of mental health challenge  in HIV/AIDS patients is due to emotional trauma, he urged those  already diagnosed of the disease not to see it as an end , adding that they can still live their  normal life .

In his remarks , Mr Chinedu Ugwuezumba of Imo state agency for HIV/AIDS , who spoke on  behalf of Imo State Commissioner for health ,Dr prosper  Ohayaga , disclosed that the participants were chosen from 10  health Facilities in Imo state , in which after the program they are expected to go back to their Clinic  and make sure HIV/AiDS patients are tested for mental disorder before admission, he hinted that the disease   prevalence in Nigeria is 1.4 percent of the  total population while Imo state has prevalence of 1.8 percent.

In their respective views the principal medical officer Aboh Mbaise general   hospital, Dr. Nwachukwu ifeanyi,  Dr. Echebima Ada , Mr Vitus Onyeze and Mrs Igwe Nkechinyere said the program   will go a long way in solve the mental health challenges of HIV/AIDS patients, they commended the event , describing it as a bold  step in the right direction, while applauding the theme “integrating  Mental health into HIV/AIDS In Clinics”.