Living close to busy roads can affect mental health negatively – Research

A recent study has discovered that people living by busy roads possess a high chance of having dementia.

Dementia is an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities.

The study, which was published in The Lancet, estimates that one in 10 cases of Alzhemer’s among those living by busy roads is linked to air and noise pollution.

Each person’s medical records were examined to see who went on to develop dementia, Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis.

Over the study period, more than 243,000 people developed dementia, 31,500 people developed Parkinson’s disease and 9,250 people developed multiple sclerosis.

The scientists found no link between living near a road and Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis, but dementia was slightly more common in people living close to busy roads and the risk dropped off gradually in less built-up areas.

Those living within 50 metres of a busy road had a 7% higher risk in developing dementia, the risk was 4% higher risk at 50-100 metres, 2% higher risk at 101-200 metres and there was no increase in risk in those living more than 200 metres away.

Those who lived in a major city, within 50 metres of a major road and who did not move house for the duration of the study had the highest risk at 12%.

“Increasing population growth and urbanisation has placed many people close to heavy traffic, and with widespread exposure to traffic and growing rates of dementia, even a modest effect from near-road exposure could pose a large public health burden,” said Hong Chen, the scientist who led the work at Public Health, Ontario, Canada.

Scientists have previously linked air pollution and traffic noise to reduced density of white matter (the brain’s connective tissue) and lower cognition.

Another study suggested that magnetic nano-particles from air pollution can make their way into brain tissue.

The study, which tracked roughly 6.6 million people for more than a decade, could not determine whether pollution is directly harmful to the brain.

The increased dementia risk could also be an effect of respiratory and cardiac problems caused by traffic fumes or due to other unhealthy lifestyle factors associated with living in built-up urban environments.

Rob Howard, a professor of old age psychiatry at University College London, who was not involved in the study, said: “We know that major road air pollution is bad for general health and this latest study doesn’t tell us whether the small increase in dementia risk is driven by indirect effects or whether proximity to traffic directly influences dementia pathology. Regardless of the route of causation, this study presents one more important reason why we must clean up the air in our cities.”

The study tracked all adults aged between 20 and 85 living in Ontario, Canada from 2001 to 2012, using postcodes to determine a person’s proximity to major roads.

#MentalHealth: Seeking Medical Help Doesn’t Contradict God’s Word – Sam Adeyemi

Just in the wake of Sunday, Pastor Sam Adeyemi of Daystar Church took to twitter to share what he termed “Mental Health”. He made it clear with biblical references that the society and people really need to understand that these people need medical attention not stigmatization.

He started off with the hashtag #MentalHealth.

Sound health is part and parcel of our Salvation package he tweeted

The rest of his tweets read:

  • The Prosperity and Health of the Soul is the foundation of the prosperity of the physical body
  • There is a controversy amongst Christians on Mental Health issues because we believe it is a Spiritual issue
  • Mental illness is as real as physical illness. The lack of understanding gives room for a lot of Ignorance & stigmatization
  • Mental Health is the state of emotional, psychological and social well being.
  • As a result of ignorance on this issue, we label mental patients and run away from them.
  • The root cause of mental illness is Sin. (Rom 6:23)and the foundational solution to mental health is Salvation
  • To maintain mental health feed your spirit and soul with healthy diet of God’s word.
  • If you don’t get your identity from God’s word you will believe everything the enemy tells you.
  • If you allow Satan and your circumstances to define who you are it will distort the balance in your mental state.
  • I speak on mental health not as an expert in psychiatry but on the believe that sound health is part of our Salvation
  • Feed on God’s word, believe you have the mind of Christ. Interpret your life circumstances through the eyes of God’s word.
  • You must fight and win the battles in your Mind. 2nd Corinthians 10:4. You have all it takes to win as a Christian.
  • The quality of your life will not be better than the quality of your thoughts. Fight and Win your mind battles.
  • Use faith to fight the fiery darts of the enemy. (Ephesians 6:16) Quench every negative news that comes into your life
  • If you want to maintain your sanity, you have to be sensitive to God’s word. Be anxious for nothing. Philippians 4:8.
  • If something is wrong and you need medical attention or If you know anyone with mental illness. Please seek medical help.
  • Seeking medical help for physical or mental illness does not contradict God’s word or having faith for your healing.

Poverty Contributes to Ill Health – Lagos NMA Chair

The Lagos State chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association has said that there was the need to address the issue of poverty to reduce the burden of ill health in the country.

The association said that poverty contributed to ill health which in turn aggravated and extended the poverty, thereby having adverse effects on the country’s health indices.

Dr Olubunmi Omojowolo, the Chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the NMA, made the assertion at a news conference to mark the 2016 Annual Physicians Week at the state NMA Secretariat, Lagos.

The theme for this year’s programme is: “Healthcare in a Frail Economy: Challenges and Way Forward.”

Omojowolo said: “This topic is very important, given the present economic downturn being experienced by our dear nation.

“The World Bank recognises the relationship between economic development and health.

“It also recognises that the poor health indices in most developing countries are as a result of entrapment in a vicious circle of unrelieved poverty.

“As we all know, the health of a nation is her wealth.

“Therefore, for our economy to recover and become more vibrant, we need to pay more attention to the health of the population and of course the health sector.”

On the goals and challenges of effective healthcare delivery, Omojowolo said: “The goals of effective healthcare delivery are to prevent human diseases, injury and disability.

“As well as protect people from environmental health hazards.

“Effective healthcare delivery should also be able to promote behaviours that lead to good physical and mental health, educate the public about health and assure the availability of high-quality health services.

“Unfortunately, achieving such lofty objectives has been extremely difficult in Nigeria as a result of a lot of challenges facing our health sector.”

According to Omojowolo, some of the challenges include poor facilities, dwindling human resource capacity, intra-professional rivalry, inequalities in healthcare access and cultural barriers.

Omojowolo said: “In a dwindling economy like ours, these challenges are bound to become more compounded and as such, a major concern due to pre-existing poor social and health indices in Nigeria.”

He said that to improve on the poor health indices, healthcare policies must be inclusive of all socio-economic strata.

He said: “There must be universal basic healthcare coverage and provision of health insurance to Nigerians, especially rural community dwellers.

“We must pay close attention to individuals with disabilities by having a comprehensive reform, while mental health issue must be on the front burner of our priorities.”

Omojowolo urged the Federal Government to increase the country’s health budget to approach the 15 per cent as recommended by the World health Organisation.

He also said that the issue of inter-and intra- professional rivalry and incessant industrial action in the health sector should be addressed and resolved in a holistic manner.

On the leadership crisis within the Lagos NMA, he said it was under control.

He said: “Justice Candide-Johnson granted an order restraining any other person or group other than the Omojowolo-led executives of Lagos NMA from parading themselves as officers of the association.

“This is in an originating summons with Suit No. ID/1322GCMW/2016, at the Lagos High court on September 29.”

Playback Nigeria Unveils “Voices” A Stage Play For Mental and Public Health Awareness

Playback Nigeria (@PlaybackNigeria) wishes to invite members of the public, stakeholders in Mental and Public Health to the premiere performance of VOICES – a stage play on Mental Health written and directed by Oluwadamilola Apotieri-Abdulai (@damilola_a) on Friday 30th of October, 2015 at Ladi Kwali Hall, Sheraton Hotels, Abuja. Time: 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 5pm.


There are many people in Nigeria experiencing mental problems.  Mental health includes your emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It determines how you think, feel, and act. It also helps influence how you handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

Community education on mental health is quite limited across the country.  This has resulted in a situation wherein children and adults with mental problems are labelled ‘mad’ and treated solely as persons requiring psychiatric care.  This has limited community care and support to such persons, who continue to be discriminated against, stigmatized and marginalized.  For children, this situation also increases risks of abuse and exploitation.

‘Voices’ represents two dimensions with respect to advovacy on Mental Health – Psychosocial Support (MH-PSS).   It signifies the need to bring to the forefront the voices of people experiencing mental problems, and those in their immediate social environment so that services are designed and delivered in a manner that is accessible and responsive to their needs.  It also touches on an important and sometimes neglected area in mental health – ‘the hearing of voices’ by some people with schizophrenia, one of the many mental problems that confront our communities today.  Hearing of voices is many times misunderstood and ignored, yet it provides an avenue for relating with and supporting such persons.  Voices can be critical or they can be complementary and many people may be able to find ways to live with them. It’s difficult to explain what it is like to hear voices, particularly if you’ve never heard voices yourself.

Art/Drama/Theatre is an active tool for engagement and for raising awareness around Mental Health Issues such as hearing voice.

Playback Nigeria, an art-based organisation in Nigeria have created a theatre piece titled ‘Voices’, a theatre piece that creates awareness on mental health.  The intention is to create awareness on the need to focus on the full range of MHPSS services needed to support persons with mental problems, and to engage with participants on how to support persons experiencing mental problems.

Partnerships to stage ‘Voices’

The staging of voices is being done through collaboration with World Health Organization (WHO), International Organization for Migration (IOM), and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), as part of a broader advocacy initiate of the MHPSS Reference Group.

Date: Friday, 30th October 2015

Venue:      Ballroom 3, Ladi Kwali Conference Centre, Sheraton Hotel Abuja.

Attendance is FREE, Interested audience members must RSVP through


Telephone: 08038288609