Dr Amina Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has called for the establishment of mental health centres instead of psychiatric hospitals in Kano state.
This she said will go a long way in curbing mental issues associated with women health and address the stigma attached to going to a psychologic hospital for mental remedy.
Dr Amina Ganduje was speaking at a one day round table session and sensitization of women and mental health, gender inequality and women empowerment organized by the office of the Special Adviser to the Executive Governor of Kano State on Health, Dr Fauziyya Buba in collaboration with women builder initiative to commemorate the World Aids Day and 16Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. She, however, stressed that Kano women in striving for gender equality should “always remember that they are Muslims and should endeavour to respect the Qur’an and prophetic tradition,”
Earlier in her welcome remark, the SA Health, Dr Fauziyya Buba said that the event is not only important but timely in order to provide a blueprint that will help in achieving sustainable development and also serve as a platform for advocacy on mental health, gender inequality and women empowerment.
She seized the opportunity to enlighten the audience that the Governor of the State, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, alongside the first lady, are advocates of gender inclusion because he has the highest number of females in his cabinet,
“He has recruited 1,500 teachers to teach girls in various schools, has trained 200 young girls in auto-mechanics and has empowered so many women with cash and materials.”
Dr Buba concluded her address by expressing confidence that the discussion will yield a result that will address mental health, gender inequality and women empowerment for sustainable development.
On her part, Barrister Maimuna Umar Shariff from Women Life Building Initiative (WLBI) disclosed that the purpose of Women Life Building Initiative and indeed the round table meeting is to, “support women in achieving positions in politics, serve as an advocate for women, address causes of mental health and possibly find a lasting solution to the problems, expressing hope that issues of gender inequality and problem surrounding women will be addressed.
Dr Hajara Kabir Shehu gave a very brief insight of what mental health is, stressing that it is the state of wellbeing where one is not able to realise one’s own potential, stressing that some of the causes of mental unhealthiness are depression and frustration.
“It’s not all mental issues that are spiritual, depression is also a mental health issue and is the most pronounced in women.”
She called on loved ones to always monitor women and take them to a health facility in case of any related mental change, emphasising that ‘mental’ doesn’t mean mad as people wrongly perceive.
Also speaking, Professor Hassana Sani Garba from Bayero University Kano noted that there has been some level of improvement in women empowerment the past few years even though there is still much left to be done.
“During our time, how many women Politicians, Doctors and Engineers are there, but now we are proud to say we have a handful of them.”
Professor Hajara stressed that what is paramount for women empowerment is “education, employment opportunities and skills acquisition, and it’s not all the time that it is about equal to justice,
The house was later divided into three for the round table discussions where each group came up with recommendations for women empowerment, gender equality and mental health.