12.7% of African adolescents lonely, face mental challenges – Babcock VC

12.7% of African adolescents lonely, face mental challenges – Babcock VC

The Vice Chancellor, Babcock University, Ilishan Remo, Ogun State, Prof. Ademola Tayo, has said despite the booming population of African countries, about 12.7 percent of the population are suffering from loneliness and are facing mental challenges such as depression.

Africa had a population estimate of 1.45 billion in 2022 out of the global population estimate of 8.045 billion. 

According to vanguard report, Prof. Tayo spoke on Monday, during the induction by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, MDCN, of the eighth set of medical doctors produced by the university.

Quoting a report by Donovan & Blazer 2020, the VC said among the elderly in Africa, nearly 25% suffer from loneliness and that the figure for Europe was lower, it was put at 5.3%.

“Dear inductees, the major challenges of the health profession have gone beyond malaria, typhoid and other infectious conditions that were the burden of the health professionals in yesteryears. In 2022, there was a projection of what the leading burden of disease and causes of death will be by 2030. Based on the projection, the three leading causes of death will be HIV/AIDS, depression and ischaemic heart disease.

“With the successes made on HIV/AIDS care thus far and efforts to promote lifestyle that has minimised the burden of ischaemic heart disease, it is then no surprise that the World Health Organization in 2023 began emphasising on the need to address mental health challenges in our time. Of the mental health challenges, loneliness has been identified as a threat to humankind.

“The effect of loneliness and social isolation on mortality is equivalent to smoking 15 sticks of cigarettes daily, obesity and physical inactivity. No wonder, in November 2023, WHO set up a commission on social connection to look into how social connections enhance the well-being of our communities and societies and as well promote development and innovation, ” he said.

Tayo said the 74 medical doctors was the highest number produced so far by the university. 

He charged the newly-qualified medical doctors to approach their future endeavours with the hope that they are accountable to God and have the mind to stay in the country and help develop it.

The Registrar, MDCN, Dr Fatima Kyari, in her message, praised Babcock University for making a great impact in the training of medical doctors and in other spheres.

She commended the staff of Benjamin Carson (Snr) College of Health and Medical Sciences, Babcock University for their yeoman’s job in producing such excellent medical personnel.

Ishola Ibukunoluwa Victoria and Maconi Christiana Yewande got seven distinctions each to emerge overall best graduating students. 

The Provost, Prof. John Sotunsa admonished the new doctors to be determined to break new grounds and positively impact their generation and society.

The Medical Elder of the Day, Dr. Akintomiwa Obisanya, urged medical doctors to know the importance  of their calling and take it with all sense of responsibility.

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