Recent papers on pediatric psychosomatic medicine are limited to epidemiological data, case studies, and descriptions of models of care (Bassols et al. 2007). The Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (National Council for Scientific and Technological Development) is an agency of the Ministério da Ciencia e Tecnologia (Ministry of Science and Technology) that is dedicated to the promotion of scientific and technological research and the training of human resources for research in Brazil. Its major objective is to promote scientific research, technology, and innovation through financial support to projects in all areas of knowledge.


Nigeria is Africa's most populous country, with an estimated 150 million people who speak over 260 different languages. Approximately 45% of the country's population is age 15 years or younger. Nigeria has suffered much instability in governance, and as a result, health and associated social services have suffered greatly. Nigeria operates a federal system with three tiers of government: a central administration, 36 states with their administrative headquarters, and 774 local government areas (districts). The health care system is organized according to the three tiers of government: tertiary health care is provided principally by the federal government, consisting of specialized services in teaching and other specialist hospitals; secondary health care is provided in general hospitals run primarily by state governments; and primary health care is constitutionally the responsibility of local governments.

For every 1,000 children born in Nigeria, 110 will die before their first birthday, and 200 will die be fore their fifth birthday (Federal Ministry of Health 1996; World Health Organization 2004). The World Health Organization rates Nigeria 180th out of 191 member states for fairness of financial contribution to the health system and 188th out of 191 member states for equality of access to health care (Gureje 2005). The government of Nigeria spends only 3% of the total general government expenditure on health. At present, the apparent focus on identifiable immediate causes of childhood mortality has led to an almost total neglect of child mental health care.

Nigeria has 11 psychiatric hospitals, 26 psychiatric units or departments in teaching hospitals, 8 psychiatric units in state general hospitals, and 5 units in the Armed Forces hospitals. Serving the population of Nigeria are only about 150 psychiatrists, a ratio of 1 psychiatrist to 1 million people. Most children in Nigeria do not have access to formal mental health services. In 1999, the first separate child psychiatric outpatient clinic, the Harvey Road Children's Centre, was opened at the Yaba Psychiatric Hospital. A few months later, in 2000, services commenced in a separate child and adolescent psychiatry clinic at the University College Hospital, Ibadan (Omigbodun 2004). Currently, 10 facilities have varying degrees of child and adolescent facilities, ranging from simple outpatient clinics to inpatient admission facilities. Virtually all the mental health expertise is at the tertiary level, and even though there is a mental health policy stating that mental health should be integrated into primary health care, this is yet to be actualized.

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