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Bauchi emerges top in stressful living environment in Nigeria

Bauchi  has emerged as the state with the  most stressful living environment in Nigeria, a study conducted by WellNewMe, a health technology company in the country, revealed on Tuesday, October 13, 2020.

Bala Mohammed
Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State

It showed that the top half of the list is dominated by states from the Northern part of the country with the exception of Cross River, which came in at the 7th position and Ebonyi, which came in at 12th .

At the other end, Anambra had the least stressful living environment, followed closely by the states of  Imo and Ogun.

As part of the World Mental Health Day activities, WellNewMe released the report comparing the stressfulness of the living environments across the different states in Nigeria.

It followed Bloomberg’s researchers different variables analysis including annual homicide rate, GDP per capita, insecurity, income inequality, corruption, unemployment, health care quality, crime rate, suicide rate and air pollution to arrive at the conclusion.

“Stress is not a mental health diagnosis but it is, however, closely related to one’s mental health. At the most basic level, stress is the body’s response to pressures from a situation or life event.

“What contributes to stress can vary hugely from person to person and differ according to our genetic makeup, the environment we live in and our social and economic circumstances.

“The last three of which were focused on by the Bloomberg study.

“With that in mind, we used the Bloomberg model to find out which were the most stressful environments amongst the states.

“Seven equally weighted variables were considered including  violent crime rates, GDP per capita, income inequality, corruption perception, unemployment rate, environmental pollution and life expectancy.

“The indicators have all been shown to have direct correlations with the amount of stress individuals are likely to experience,’’ the report said.

According to the study, data was sourced from the National Bureau of Statistics, the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) Programme and Kingmakers.com.ng.

“The states were then allotted points for each variable based on their relative position in that category’s ranking.

“The state with the least-stressful measure for each variable received 0 point, while the country with the highest stress level received 100 points. All other countries were scored depending on their position between the two extremes.

“Points for the seven variables were averaged for a final score from 0 to 100, with a higher score indicating a more stressful living environment,’’ the study said.

In his remarks, Dr  Obi Igbokwe, CEO of WellNnewMe and author of the report, said: “A surprise position in the rankings was that of the state of Borno.

“It not only featured in the bottom half of the rankings but was second to Benue from the Northern states and the best ranking state from the North East zone which currently still suffers from the insecurity created by the Boko Haram terrorist group.

“However, the North East region is on average the most stressful region of the country, while the South West is the least stressful region.

“The importance of such reports is that it  allows regional governments to be proactive in developing and implementing policies that could help reduce the risk of mental health issues given the clear lack of resources that many have available to deal with it.

“The delivery of healthcare these days has gone beyond the four walls of health facilities to an integrated health system.

“Of which at its core is a patient-centric model, based on robust primary care and public health management, that also addresses socioeconomic indicators that affect population  health,’’ he said.

By Augusta Uchediunor

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