By Mohammed Aminu
Sokoto State Zakkat and Endowment Committee, recently said no fewer than 6,569 mentally-ill patients would be provided with free drugs and treatment this year.
Speaking at the distribution of grains to orphans and the less privileged in Chimola district of Gwadabawa Local Government Area of Sokoto, the Chairman of the Committee, Alhaji Lawal Maidoki, said the names of the mentally-ill persons had been compiled from 86 districts in the state.
He explained that the sum of N10 million had been earmarked for the provision of free drugs and treatment for the mentally-ill patients.
Maidoki noted that most of the mentally-ill patients were not able to access treatment due to poverty and ignorance. “Most of these mentally-ill patients cannot access treatment because their relatives are poor and cannot afford to buy the drugs,” he said.
He lamented that many of the mentally-ill patients had been deceived by fraudsters, who claimed to have the medication to treat them.
He therefore, called on parents to monitor their wards to avoid them getting engaged in drug abuse
In a remark, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar 111, stated that the provision of assistance to mentally-ill patients was not the responsibility of government alone but Muslims.
He said it would amount to negligence to allow youths that are mentally-ill to be roaming the streets without assistance.
The monarch reaffirmed that the Sultanate Council would continue to strive to provide succour to the less privileged in the society.
Governor Aminu Tambuwal, said the provision of support to the mentally-ill persons was meant to alleviate their suffering.
He said his administration had provided N2 million for the treatment and procurement of drugs for mentally-ill patients in the state monthly.
The governor to this end, urged the youth to avoid engaging in drug abuse to avoid mental illness.