Justina Asishana – Minna
Concerned over the increasing rate of depression and suicide among teenagers, a Foundation, STEM4Girls Nigeria, has conducted a brain awareness sensitisation for female students in secondary schools.
The two -day awareness programme covered drug abuse and its effects to the brain, mental health, introduction to neuroscience, the brain and the nervous system, introduction to special senses and careers for women in neuroscience.
The Executive Director of STEM4Girls Nigeria, Dr. Angela Danborno, said: “Anything that affects the brain affects the whole body and it is important that we educate the students about the brain and its importance.
“The brain is very important to us, it connects us to the world about us. It is very good to open the eyes of the people, especially students to the function of the brain.
“Secondary School students need to know about their brain and being female, we wanted to let them know that there are careers they can choose. This will go further in improving the number of female in this field.”
Danborno, who is the Coordinator of Linkages Unit and a Lecturer in the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences of Bingham University, Karu noted that a lot of students go into taking drugs, which leads to a decline of their health causing them to perform poorly academically.
She added that the solution towards reducing drug abuse and decline in mental health is continuous awareness of the dangers.
Danborno said that the programme was to commemorate the World Brain Awareness Week and was sponsored by International Brain Research Organisation (IBRO) and Dana Foundation.
A Research Fellow with the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Pharmacist Lucy John, who was one of the guest lecturers, said the workshop was timely especially as the state of mental health of a lot of teenagers are currently on the decline.
“The programme is on track because mental ill-health is increasing and this will go a long way To Help the girls in overcoming pressures that may lead them into activities that will affect their mental state of mind.”
One of the students, who spoke after the programme, Faith Urami, said she has learnt on how not to over stress her brain and how use her brain to achieve maximal results.
Another student, Ajaka Rachel, said she learnt how to say no to drug abuse and to keep her brain balanced especially in the aspect of getting enough sleep.
12 schools and 58 female students in Junior and Senior Secondary School in Nasarawa state attended at Bingham University, Karu.