Minna - The Niger government on Wednesday said it had begun the evacuation of mentally-ill from the streets, to mark the International Day for People with Disability.
Hasana Adamu, the Commissioner for Gender Affairs and Social Development, said at a media briefing in Minna that 15 of such people had been removed for rehabilitation so far.
She also said that the evacuation of such mentally-challenged persons from the streets would enhance clean environment.
"Last week, we were able to pick 15 mentally-challenged persons from the streets of Minna to our psychiatric home in Bida", she said.
Adamu said that the exercise, which commenced in Minna, would be extended to other towns in the state.
She said the government decided to rehabilitate the psychiatric home in Bida because of the financial implication and the stress of taking such persons to the Psychiatric Hospital, Kaduna, for treatment.
"Recently, the ministry facilitated the treatment of 28 mentally-retarded persons in the state, by taking them to the psychiatric hospital in Kaduna,’’ she said.
She said that the home had only one hostel in the past but that the state government had added two more hostels to cater to more of such people.
Adamu said that the home had a resident psychiatric nurse and visiting psychiatric doctors, who referred serious cases to the Psychiatric Hospital, Kaduna.
The commissioner said the state government had established the School for the Handicap in Minna,to cater for the physically-challenged children.
She hailed the state government for not discriminating against people with disability as they were also being recruited into the state civil service.
"During festive periods, the state government provides food items for the physically-challenged in the state", Adamu said.