‘There Are Over 6,000 Mentally Challenged Persons In A’Ibom’- NGO President


As the World Mental Health Day is marked Wednesday, October 10, a Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, has stated that there are about 6,234 mentally challenged persons in Akwa Ibom communities.

Rev. Godwin Udofa, who is the President of Wonder Life Care Mission International, an NGO with the mandate of evacuating mentally challenged persons off the streets, rehabilitate and reintegrate them to the society, stated this on Tuesday when Straightnews team visited his rehabilitation facility in Ikot Afanga, Oruk Anam local government area of the state.

“In my own research, I have discovered that there are at least three mentally challenged persons in every community. Think of this Akwa Ibom state with 2078 villages; multiply that number with three and the answer you have is possibly the number of mentally challenged persons in Akwa Ibom,” he said.

While noting that the World Federation of Mental Health provides intervention funds and training for mentally challenged persons, Udofa who said that individuals could not access such funds tasked the state government to establish a bureau of mental matters that could have access to these findings.

“We don’t have any organisation that can access such funds. So, if the governor can appoint a special assistant to him on mental matters or establish a bureau of mental matters, I think these funds can be accessed. It is only an agency if government that can get this funding,” he said.

Udofa, who believes that mental illness is a spiritual problem, said that he mainly tackles it with prayers with a little back up of medical science.

World Mental Health Day is a day set aside for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma.

The Wonder Life (Mental Health Rescue Mission), Ikot Afanga sited on a 22-hectare land, which has housed 420 mentally challeneged persons and rehabilitated 292 of them since inception, was founded in 1997.