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Economic Affairs Division Signs MOU with Prime Foundation

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General body meeting of PAFEC KP Chapter held at PMC

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Emergency & Disaster Management workshop in collaboration with Rescue 1122 and PDMA

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Depression will soon be one of the leading cause of disability in developing countries but treatment coverage is poor, therefore there is a compelling need for a collaborative approach to address this challenge. These were the views expressed by Prof. Saeed Farooq while talking at the 3rd health policy forum organized by Prime Institute of Public Health (PIPH) on Thursday. The theme of the forum was Mental Health Issues in Primary Care and was chaired by the Hon. Minister Local Government Mr. Inayat Ullah.

Dr. Saeed is a renowned psychiatrist and professor at the Post-Graduate Medical Institute, Peshawar and also serves as visiting professor at Staffordshire University and clinical senior lecturer at Keele University.

“The prevalence of serious mental illness (SMI) in lower and middle income countries is about 4%, while schizophrenia is most common form of SMI,” he said. “A recent study in the United States, found that people with schizophrenia lose more than 28 years of life. In low-income and middle-income economies schizophrenia results in 14.8 Millions YLDs (Years Lost due to Disability)” he added.

“The onset of mental illness happens is in early twenties and has chronic course leading to vicious cycle of physical ill health, burden of disease for the family and poverty. If a mental illness is detected at an early stage it can be treated while delay in diagnoses make it very difficult to treat the disease.” he explained to the audience. He therefore recommended that “KP government should start free treatment for psychiatric patients for at least the initial 3 years”.

Prof. Dr. Hafeez ur Rehman (Vice Dean, Peshawar Medical College) also addressed the forum. During his welcome address he thanked the Hon. Minister for his participation. He commended that unfortunately, Pakistan has developed a fragmentation of health into various silos of specialties and missed the holistic concept of health.

Minister local government Mr. Inayat Ullah in his concluding remarks added that “The current government has taken serious measure to bring changes in existing health system by formation of autonomous bodies. Separate clinical and administrative directors have been appointed in teaching hospitals. We are facing dearth of human resources especially psychiatrists in rural areas, but our focus is to ensure availability of providers at peripheries. We believe that without strengthening our Primary Health Care, we can never control our health problems.”

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