By Royal Ibeh,
With one in seven women in Nigeria at risk of having Post-Partum Depression, movie producer, Quam Balogun has solicited the support of government and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in creating more awareness on the condition, through the movie, “You Are Fragile, Aren’t You?”
In an interview with LEADERSHIP, Balogun said Post-Partum Depression is a mental health illness that some women go through after they give birth, adding that the movie depicts the situation of many Nigerian women and their battles with the condition during and after childbirth journey.
He said, “When women give birth, they are very emotional; their body changes and they have hormonal imbalance that can make them sometimes, depressed and moody. Ordinarily, that should last for two weeks, but once it exceed two weeks, going to months, it is no longer baby blues, it is now Post-Partum Depression, which is a mental health issue.
“The idea behind the movie: You Are Fragile, Aren’t You? was to address that mental health issue, because one in seven women is at risk of having Post-Partum Depression in Nigeria. The movie is an exciting action, intriguing and drama filled movie based on the Nigerian context, to show one of the most common, yet silent female reproductive health struggles.”
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), about 20 per cent of mothers in developing countries experience depression after childbirth, says the producer, adding that the Organization recommends that at each postnatal contact with health workers, mothers should be asked about their emotional wellbeing, what family and social support they have and their usual coping strategies for dealing with day-to-day matters.
“Yet a lot of mothers in Nigeria had no mention of the Post-Partum Depression throughout their antenatal care period, as most appointment before and after delivery are just physical checkup, that is healing and bleeding and nothing to address their mental health,” he added.
Balogun urged government and critical stakeholders to create better mental health structures needed to support women childbirth journey, adding that government need to formulate policy to address the issue of Post-Partum Depression, especially at the Primary Healthcare Centres, so that women can be educated on the condition during antenatal care.
On his part, Balogun said the movie is set to launch premiere in a cinema/Netflix and also screened at Primary Health Centers across Lagos state and beyond, in efforts to increase awareness of the menace of the condition, and advocate for better environment to help identify symptoms while proffering solution to the issue.
He however seeks partnership with government and NGOs, to reach 500,000 Nigerian women in the health facilities and online platforms with information on Post-Partum Depression within six months of premiere using the movie.
The partnership will help in ensuring that the movie gets to the grassroots and translated in different languages in Nigeria, for better understanding, says the producer, adding that a word can be said a thousand times without impact, but a story only needs to be told once dramatically to be remembered forever.