Psychiatry in Nigeria

  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


Letter book and reports of Yaba Lunatic and Leper Asylum, Lagos, 1907-1912; reports on mental illness and psychiatric services in Nigeria, 1928-c.1956; report on the laws and customs of the Yoruba people, c.1964.



Physical description

1 box

Acquisition note


Biographical note

These papers on psychiatry in Nigeria were received in 1993 from Dr Alexander Boroffka, who was Senior Specialist Psychiatrist in charge of Yaba Mental Hospital, Lagos, from 1961 to 1966. The Yaba Lunatic Asylum opened in Lagos, Nigeria, on 31 October 1907, taking in 8 female and 6 male patients. By 17 June 1912 there were 18 females and 17 males, and until 1949 the hospital also functioned as a leper asylum. The 'Lunatic Asylum' was renamed 'Yaba Mental Hospital' in 1960. The report book (GC/146/1) was given to him by the then Chief Nursing Officer, Mr A A Ordia, when the store of the hospital's records was cleared out in 1962. It appears to contain all the letters and reports written by the Medical Officer in charge, including reports on the leprosy patients. Dr Bruce F Home was appointed as an 'alienist' in 1927 and stayed for three tours, Oct 1927-Oct 1928, Apr 1929-Jul 1930, and Dec 1930-Aug 1931. A copy of his report of 1928 based on a tour of 25 centres of population and the results of questionnaires to Residents and Medical Officers, and the comments of the Lieutenant-Governor of the Northern Provinces, are included in this collection (GC/146/2-3).

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Accession number

  • 479