By R. Joyclyn Wea
A Professor at the Liberia College of Physicians and Surgeons, Dr. Robert Kpoto has disclosed that approximately one million Liberians are suffering from mental health related problems.
Making the disclosure recently at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT), Dr. Kpoto said the country lacks specialists or doctors to respond to mental health problems in the country, something he said seems to contribute to the growing increase in the number of mental health illnesses.
According to Dr. Kpoto, there is only one psychiatrist in Liberia who has retired, something they want to make an issue of the past saying “four million people with no one to take care of them with Ear, Noise and Threat (ENT) related condition, we cannot continue like this for a long time.”
He explained that the poor Liberians cannot afford to send their kids or relatives and family members to Ghana, Nigeria or South Africa, therefore the half of million given to the college would be used to identify critical health areas so as to send Liberians out to specialize in these areas.
Kpoto emphasized that fifteen Liberians will be leaving the country to be trained to become specialists in areas where they do not have Liberian currently practicing in the country, to returned and help improved the health delivery system of the country.
He further pointed out that seventy percent of doctors registered in the country practice in Monrovia, something they also hope to make an issue of the past by deploying doctors in every part of the country to have a minimum of at least four specialists.
“There are some counties today, as we speak, do not have doctors and specialists. The ability of Liberians to struggle to raise funds to send their family members out of Liberia are soon going to be issue of the past,” he added.