Document 16112939

Published By:
Vol. 3, No. 1
JUNE 2002
ISSN – 1595 – 4013
Professor E.A. Ogunsakin, Department of Physical and
Health Education, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara State,
Managing Editor -
Dr.A.E. Talabi, Department of Physical and Health Education,
University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria.
E-mail Address:
Advisory Committee
Professor L. Emiola
University of Ilorin
Professor O. Oshodin
University of Binin
Professor S. Jimoh
University of Ilorin
Dr. S. Umoh
University of Ilorin
Professor .A. Adewoye
University of Ilorin
Dr. Danladi Musa
Bayero University, Kano
Professor A. L Toriola
University of the North, South Africa.
This is the fifth edition and we on the edition board are glad and
appreciate your continued support for the journal. It is our wish to keep
improving the quality of the Journal. We sincerely believe that your share our
view the fitness is an important variable in superlative health. “He who has
health has all” (Elders’ Proverb)
Prof. Ogunsakin, E.A.
Anthoropometric Somatotype of Nigerian
University Male Judokas
Ajayi-Vincent, O.B & Adesina, M.O
Women’s Health Issues and Sustainable
Adeyanju, F.B. & Haruna, F.R
Determinants of Aggressive Behaviour Among
Professional Soccer Players in Benue State.
Euver, Jonahan N.
The Relationship between Strength of the Limbs
And Shooting Ability of Basketball Players – A Case
Study of Niger Potters Team
Dominic, O.L
Nutritional Knowledge Among Adolescent Student
in Pankshin Area Inspectorate of Education
Kajang, Yakubu Boro & Maxwell, Gudam Boro 43
An Investigation into the Level of Awareness of the
Gains of Recreation Activities Among Academic
Staff of Higher Institution in Kwara State.
Bakinde Surajudeen .T.
Contemporary Mental Health Problem: Causes and
OLaitan O. Lanre
The Injury Pattern of Squash Players in Nigeria
Talabi, A.E.
Effectiveness of Electronic Teaching Material on
Pupils’ Sex Education Knowledge Achievement at
Primary School
Owojaiye Sunday & Oyerinde O.O
OLAITAN, 0. ‘Lanre
This paper reviewed the causes and prevention of contemporary mental
health problems, which include neurological and psychosocial disorders. It also
dealt with government action in preventing these disorders. Mental and
neurological disorders, behaviour injurious to health and condition of life that
lead to disease were highlighted. Proposal for action, such as measures to be
undertaken by the health sectors, measures against abuse of and dependence on
psychoactive substances, crisis intervention in primary health care, prevention of
iatrogenic damage, minimizing chronic’ disability as well as action at the
community level and in other social sectors were briefly discussed. Instructions in
family planning, sex, child development and nutrition have been recommended
for inclusion in the school curriculum to help curb these menaces of social health
problems in our society.
Mental, neurological and psychosocial disorders constitutes an enormous
public health burden. Even today we know so ‘little about such disorder as
schizophrenia, parkinsonism and senile dementia that we cannot design
programmers for their prevention (Katona, 1989). In the schizophrenias affective
disorders, the frequency with which there is troublesome behaviour or a chronic
mobility of patients to look after themselves can be reduced if the health team,
community and family respond promptly and constructively. The public should be
educated about the nature and extent of mental health problems and, where
possible, about their treatment and prevention.
Mental Retardation: The prevalence of severe mental retardation below the
age of 1 8 is 3-4 per 1000; that of mild mental retardation is 20-30 per 1000
(Eisenberg, 1987). In some developing countries faulty delivery method may lead
to birth traumas, which may in turn lead to mental retardation. Acquired Lesions of the Central Nervous System: Any damage to brain
resulting from trauma, infection, malnutrition, hypertensive, encephalopath,
pollutants, nutritional deficiency and other factors are a major source of
impairment (Roberts, 1990). It has been estimated that 400 million persons
suffer from iodine deficiency; their offspring are at. risk of brain damage in utero
(I-letzel & Orley, 1985). Particular attention must be paid to the debilitating
effects of cerebrovascular accidents secondary to undebilitating effects of
Cerebrospinal meningitis, trypanosomiasis and HEALTH AND FITNESS JOURNAL
cysticercosis are major causes of brain damage. Persistent infections, even when
the brain is not directly invaded, impair cognitive efficiency (KoIb & Brodie,
Peripheral Nervous System Damage: Inadequate or unbalance diet,
metabolic diseases, infection, traumas and toxins can’ cause incapacitating
peripheral neuropathies with numerous social and psychiatric consequences
(KoIb & Brodie, 1982).
Psychoses: The prevalnce of severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia,
affective disorders and chronic brain syndromes is estimated to be not less than
1%; somewhat more than 45 million mentally ill persons suffer compromised
social and occupational function because of these condition (Eisenberg, 1987).
Schizophrenia incidence in the population aged 15-54 years is approximately 0.1
per 1000, whereas the rate of deiiressive disorders is several times higher
(Eisenberg, 1987).
Dementia: This can be caused by metabolic, toxic, infectious and circulatory
diseases (Katona, 1989). The burden on health services is that, this dementia to
the older ages makes them vulnerable to senile dementia of theAlzheimer’s type
(Bruno, 1989).
Epilepsy: Bruno (1989) defined epilepsy as a disorder in which pathological
functioning of the brain causes a variety of symptoms such as seizures, odd
actions, and altered state of consciousness. He further said that, it is a
neurologic disorder, not a mental one. He therefore examined four basic kinds of
epilepsy which are Grandma!, Petitmal, Jacksonian and Psychomotor.
Emotional and Conduct Disorder: Eisenberg (1987) opined that such
disorders are estimated to affect 5-15% of the general population. He further
said that not all cases require treatment but some can lead to major impairment.
Disorders of conduct which are common among school children and interfere
with learning in the classroom and with social adjustment, often respond well to
simple treatment (e.g. behaviour therapy and the counseling of parents),
although recurrence is common. Learning disorders, whether or not they are
associated with other psychiatric symptoms, require special help in the classroom
in order to avoid secondary emotional problems and occupational handicaps.
Alcohol-related Problems: Increase in alcohol consumption have been noted
to precipitate alcohol-related problems such as cirrhosis of the liver, difficulties at
work and home, and alcohol-related traffic accidents. Alcohol abuse by the
individual has devastating effects on the family. Furthermore, a particularly tragic
consequence of drinking during pregnancy is the fetal alcohol syndrome (Lewis
et al, 1988).
As increase in alcohol consumption precipitates alcohol-related traffic
accidents, Olaitan (2002) opined that, road traffic accident (RTA) is the major
cause of fractures which when mal-managed could be injurious to one’s general
health status.
Drug Abuse: Hughes (1983) bçlieved that, drug abuse and dependence have
increased in most countries: The cannabis users, coca loaf chewers, opium and
heroin dependants respectively are higher. Cocaine abuse is widespread and
consumed in most countries. This consumption have made large regions
dependent on the income derived from growing cannabis, the opium poppy and
the coca shrub, and this adds to the difficulty of imp lementihg control measures
(Julien, 1978).
Tobacco Dependence: Smoking is a social dependence on nicotine. It causes a
high proportion of cases of cancer, chronic bronchitis and myocardial infections
(Lewis et al, 1988). Premature deaths, innumerable cases of debilitating
diseases, such as chronic obstructive lung diseases, are caused by smoking. The
proportion of women of reproductive age who smoke regularly have been
increasing rapidly in the developing world.
Violence: Violence, including accident, homicide and suicide, is one of the main
causes oldeath in most countries. Psychosocial factors and mental disturbance
play an important role in its occurrnce. Child abuse and wife battering are among
the particularly dramatic indicators of violence in the family (Eisenberg, 1987).
Family Breakdown: Family breakdown interferes with the upbringing of
children. A household headed by a woman is more likely to be below the poverty
threshold than one headed by a man, adding to the mothers difficulty in raising a
family. Weakened family units also contribute to community disorganization and
a variety of psychosocial and otherhealth problems (Eisenberg, 1987).
Somatic Symptoms Resulting from Psychosocial Distress: Many patients
who consult primary health care workers either have no attainable biological
abnormality or. if they have one, complain disproportionately about their
discomfort and dysfunction. Eisenherg (1987) opined that unless psychosocial
sources of physical symptoms are recognized, the people affected are likely to be
inappropriately investigated and treated. He further stresed that the inclusion of
basic mental health care at primary health care level reduces cost of treatment
and improves its outcome (Eisenberg, 1987).
Proposals for Action on Prevention
Prenatal and Perinatal Care: Eisenberg (1987) opined that in order that
the foetus and the newborn childwould be protected and provided optimum
conditions for development, and given high mortality and morbidity associated
with prematurity and low birth weight. the collowing are recommended thus:
High priority should be given to the provision of adequate food and to
about nutrition to all pregnant women;
Direct counselling of pregnant women should be practiced to reduce the
prevalence of development anomalies and low birth weight caused by
cigarette smoking and the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy;
In areas where neonatal tetanus is prevalent, pregnant women should
tetanus toxoid after the first trimester and birth attendants should be
trained in sterile techniques for cutting the umbilical cord;
In iodine-deficient areas, women of chil.dbearing age should be given
iodized oil
injections or iodized salt in order to prevent the congenital iodine
deficiency syndrome;
Birth attendants should train to recognize high-risk pregnancies and to
refer deliveries that are expctëd to be complicated to specialist facilities,
since the prevention of obstetrical complications can reduce the number
of children with central nervous system damage;
The promotion of breast-feeding should be an integral component of
primary health care.
Programmes for Child Nutrition: This should be a major component of
prevention because malnutrition can impair cognitive and social development
(UNICEF, 1989).
Immunization: The immunization of children against measles, rubella, mumps,
poliomyelitis, tetanus, whooping cough, and diphtheria could make an important
contribution to the prevention of brain damage (WHO, 1 993).
Family Planning: Imogen (1.994), is of the opinion that child development is
adversely affected when mothers have too many children at unduly short
intervals or when they are too young or too old. Education on family planning
and access to effective means of contraception are therefore essential elements
in maternal and childcare.
Measures against and Dependence of Psychoactive Substances
Lewis, et al (1988) suggested that, primary health care workers should
routinely counsel patients against smoking. Although only 3-5% will respond by
stopping smoking, there is a large gain from the public health standpoint
because of the high prevalence of the habit. Repeated efforts to quit have
cumulatively higher rates 01 SUCCCSS and a low initial response should not
discourage subsequent efforts.
Health workers can be trained to recoghize the early stages of alcohol and
drug abuse. Brief counselling can help a significant number of patients to alter
their behaviour before dependence and irreversible damage occurred.
Crisis intervention in Primary Health Care
In the event of acute loss (eg. the death of a spouse), there is some
evidence that group and itidividual counselling of the bereaved can diminish risk.
Self help and mutual aid groups can improve health at minimum cost to the
health services. Well-trained crisis intervention units can handle a variety of
acute mental health problems and thus prevent chronic difficulties (Kolb &
Brodie, 1982).
Prevention of latrogenic Damage
Blbom (1984) stressed that failure to diagnose and correctly treat
psychosocial disorders results ,in iatrogenic damage, Thus, it is wrong to use
potentially toxic drugs when what is needed is social support, or to rely on
institution care for patients who can be restore to function while in the
Health workers can be trained to inquire routinely about psychosocial
problems in the course of evaluating new patients. This enables then to
recognize the symptoms early enough and where necessary, referral to social
welfare or mental health workers can significantly diminish the number of clinic
visits (KoIb & Brodie, 1982).
Katona (1989), said that measures to prevent dementia must await the
results of further research, Cognitive impairment resulting from depression and
infection can be reversed by prompt treatment. The difference between
dementia and depression in the elderly is not recognized by the family doctor in
four out of five cases. A training of physicians and other health workers to
improve their diagnostic skills in this area is advocated.
Minimizing Chronic Disability
Education of primary care workers in the recognition of sensory and motor
handicaps in children, the use of prosthetics devices to minimize handicaps and
the referral of handicapped children to the educational authorities can prevent
both cognitive under achievement and social maladjustment. Properly, fitted
spectacles and hearing aids can reduce the likelihood of mental and social
handicap in children. Health workers should be trained generally on different
types of cases so as to known the appropriate approach to them accordingly.
Action at Community Level and in other Social Sectors.
Better day care for children: Hodson & Truog (1989), said that, retarded
mental development and behavioural disorders among children growing up in
families that are unable to provide suitable stimulation can be minimized by early
psychosocial stirñulation of infants and by daycare programmes of good quality,
particularly if the parents participate. However, the daycare must be ofadequate
quality. Among useful measures that could be taken are:
Surveys existing daycare facilities and assessment of the need for them
Establishñ-ent of quality standards and appropriate regulatory measures;
Setting of targets for quality and for training staff in the psychosocial
development and needs of children.
Self help groups and support services: Self-help groups organized by lay
citizen, are effective in reducing the chronicity of certain disorders (e.g.
Alcoholics Anonymous) in enabling the handicapped to improve their functional
ability (e.g. societies that help epileptics), in educating the community about the
nature of disorder and in advocating changes in legislation, better resources
allocation, and satisfaction of the needs of people with specific disorder.
Furthermore, community self- organization for local development has been
shown to reduce the 5sychopathology associated with anomie (a state of
alienation from the community) and helplessness (Eisenberg, 1980).
Schools: The progressive extension of compulsory schooling provides a new
opportunity to broaden people’s understanding of how they cañ protect their
health. At the same time it leads to identification of child health problems not
previously known to health authorities. Education for parenthood may well have
to become a public responsibility. Creches and nursery school can be sited next
to secondary schools, whose students can be assigned to work in them under
supervision. Trained leaders for groups of new mothers can guide discussion of
child- rearing and thus provide a valuable form of self-help (Eisenberg, 1987).
Instruction about family planning, sex, child development, nutrition,
accident prevention and substance abuse are among the subjects that are most
frequently recoiii mended for inclusion in school curricu k.
Public Health Measures for Accident Prevention: Every member of the
community should cultivate the habit of accident prevention.
The Media: Radio, television, newspapers and comic strips can play a major
role in public health education.
Cultural and Religions Influences: A knowledge of cultural and religious
forces can be applied by health workers in their efforts to reduce damaging
Above all, arms of government not only the health sector should embark
on action to make the prevention work. Health eduators should involve
themselves in this preventive measure. In the area of prevention, government
actions in various spheres may have implications for health e.g. housing projects
may worsen mental health because of bad design; industrial development
projects may destroy local culture and lead to family disruption, child, neglect
and substance abuse (Lewis et al, 1988).
The institution involvçment in the developing countries in multi-centre
research, research training, courses and information exchange should be used to
create and/or strengthen the basis for a further growth of knowledge in this
In conclusion, prevention of mental, neurological and psychosocial
disorder have been discussed, yet there is need to continue to suggest the
possible ways of the preventive measures day in and out, so as to be able to
wage war against the problems which affect individual state of complete
wellbeing, physical, social and mentally and/or psycho emotionally.
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