Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
National Association of Seadogs, Onitsha Chapter, Anambra State, has canvassed for a psychiatric hospital to carter for mentally challenged persons roaming the streets of the commercial city.
It also condemned victimisation of mentally challenged victims, calling on citizens and corporate organisations to join in the fight against such categories of persons.
Chapter President, Engr. Emeka Uwaechia, made the call during a visit to homeless mentally challenged persons at Upper Iweka area of the town where foods and clothings were donated to about eight of the victims.
He said the gesture which was in commemoration of World Mental Health Day was the second of its kind, having visited a traditional psychiatrist hospital in Okpoko in 2020 where relief materials were donated to the beneficiaries.
He said, “There’s need for government to provide a psychiatrist hospital within Onitsha environs, to care of the many mentally challenged roaming the streets.
“We also call on other NGOs to always remember the mentally challenged in their charity package and campaign against victimisation of mentally challenged persons in various forms.
“This is the second time we are doing this. The first time, we visited a traditional psychiatrist hospital at Okpoko and presented relief materials in 2020.
“This year, we provided free lunch and clothes to about eight mentally challenged persons. Expectedly, we met many obstacles in course of carrying out this responsibility.
“Most of them were violent. Some attacked us while trying to present food to them while others threw away the food we brought for them.
“But we are happy we succeeded in putting smiles and hope on majority as they demonstrated their excitement through singing and dancing.”