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Mental instablity expands drasically – Over 2m rationally sick patients in Karachi: report

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By Our Reporter

KARACHI – The psyche is a delicate thing and psychological well-being consideration is one of the greatest needs of the day. Fifteen million individuals in Pakistan experience the ill effects of emotional instabilities and, in Karachi alone, there are more than two million rationally sick patients. Yet, as indicated by World Health Organization gauges, there are just 320 specialists in the nation. Out of the couple of psychological well-being offices that exist, absence of mindfulness about whom to approach and what sort of treatment to decide on, alongside the shame joined, make it significantly more troublesome for individuals to overcome what can be a standout amongst the most incapacitating of well-being issues.

Mental instability has drastically expanded in Pakistan for various reasons. An absence of seeing regularly breeds doubt towards medicinal experts, rendering it hard to settle on an educated choice. Some are hesitant to take pharmaceuticals over apprehension of reliance and remedial treatment is quit because of the expenses included. Another reason is constrained mindfulness about how the cerebrum capacities and the chemicals which administer it. In South Asia, emotional sickness is frequently credited to dark enchantment or ownership by evil presences when, in all actuality, it is generally brought on by an irregularity of chemicals in the mind. An absence of agreement among experts with respect to the procurement of psychological wellness consideration is likewise to fault. A couple of psychological wellness experts contend that in some remarkable cases, patients require another worldly cure alongside medicinal treatment. They trust that a coordinated comprehensive methodology, including the psyche, body and soul, are the way to opening the brain. Accordingly, to permit patients to settle on an educated choice, we examine the different offices and treatment choices accessible in the nation.

If we talk about private care hospitals they are good with health care, but unaffordable for majority, AKUH is one of them. The standard fee charged by a psychiatrist at AKUH for the first visit is Rs2,940 while Rs2,000 is charged for every subsequent visit. Moreover, for a private ward patients must pay Rs14,500 and Rs5,930 for a semi-private ward. On the other hand there are several NGOs, one of them is Pakistan Association for Mental Health (PAMH), established in 1966, set up a free clinic in 2002 in Karachi, offering free of cost outpatient services, such as psychiatric consultation, psychotherapy and psychological assessment. Deserving patients are also given free psychiatric medicines. But limited resources in terms of the number of psychiatrists, psychotherapists and counsellors means only a limited number of patients are offered services at the facility.

Karwan-e-Hayat is one of the largest running psychiatric hospital, they have a 100-bed inpatient hospital in Keamari, Karachi, which also has an outpatient department (OPD), pharmacy, rehabilitation services department and a separate ward for male and female patients, and a community psychiatry centre in Korangi, Karachi, which has an OPD, pharmacy and rehabilitation centre. They also run the Jami Clinic in Punjab Colony, Karachi, which includes an OPD and pharmacy. The NGO has been providing consultation, medicines, meals and rehabilitation services free of cost or at subsidized rates to more than 350,000 under-privileged mentally ill patients since 1983.

Not everyone go for medical healthcare, some people have firm belief in spiritual care, people go to mazaars and mandirs and to pray for their loved ones. But spiritual healing does not always have all the answers. Many take advantage of dependency on religion to extract money from families and perform risky ‘exorcisms’. One Baba Ijaz Bengali was arrested by Garden police in Karachi for taking the life of Muhammad Ghani in an exorcism attempt. Ghani, 25, was brought in chains by his father and brother, but his condition deteriorated by afternoon from the constant inhaling of smoke that Bengali claimed was part of the treatment. After Ghani died, Bengali dismissed the death as “bad luck”, saying the former was possessed. In another incident, a local cleric from Punjab, Maulvi Sarfaraz, was arrested by the police for burning the feet of an 11-year-old girl in an attempt to exorcise her demons after she exhibited signs of delirium, later discovered to be the result of typhoid.

September 18, 2015

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Dental is part of the Medical News Group of publications which in 1968 became the pioneer of medical journalism in Pakistan. Medical News is the only periodical in Pakistan which has 3 simultaneous editions from Karachi, Islamabad and online.

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