World Mental Health Day meeting
at Institute of Psychiatry

RAWALPINDI: The Institute of Psychiatry, WHO Collaborating Centre for Mental Health Training and Research, Benazir Bhutto Hospital hosted a meeting to celebrate World Mental Health Day. Prof Fareed Aslam Minhas was the main organizer.  Principal of Rawalpindi Medical College Prof Muhammad Umar, Professor Emeritus Prof Malik Hussain Mubbashar, Brig (R) Mowadat H. Rana, Dean of Faculty of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Dr. Sania Nishtar, President Heartfile Pakistan also graced the occasion with their presence. The meeting was well attended by doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses and other staff of the Institute.

Prof. Farid Aslam Minhas enlightened the audience about the basic theme. Dignity which refers to an individual’s inherent value and worth and is strongly linked to respect, recognition, self-worth and the possibility to make choices. It accords people, whether mentally ill or not, the right to be freedom from all forms of abuse and discrimination, autonomy and self-determination, and inclusion in community life and policy making. Unfortunately the sad state of affairs across the world is that these rights of the mentally ill are abused.

He lamented the state of affairs in which mentally ill are locked up in institutions and not given the right or decide for themselves. Addressing the medical community at large he reminded them how the mentally ill are deprived of general medical care and even if they do get access it, the quality is not the same.

Prof Mowadat H Rana in his speech empowered the audience with four yard sticks to measure their own mental health: personal contentment, availability for social responsibilities, effectiveness in discharging occupational responsibilities, and economic emancipation. If these points check out then the direction of our mental is positive.

Prof Malik Hussain Mubbashar in his key note address   lamented the deplorable mental health displayed by politicians in their recent campaigns on the media. This reflects the nation and this is the torrid task on our hands as psychiatrists he said. He highlighted how 350 million people today are suffering from depression, 60 million from bipolar, 21 million with schizophrenia, and 47.5 million having dementia. All of these people, he said, deserve to be treated like humans. Towards the end of his speech he bluntly alluded to the misappropriation of funds by the pharmaceuticals where they sponsor world-tours of doctors but what they need to invest in, he said, was to develop drugs on the lines anti-prejudices, anti-jelousemia, anti-gossiposis etc. to treat diseases which are eating away our society.

Dr. Sania Nishtar narrated the challenges in the path of those who strive to be an agent of change. She conceded her intent to write a book and to write a chapter on mental health and the contributions of the champions of the field that graced the occasion as speakers. She said that mental health is the only disease not confined to the body and the current socioeconomic situation will further exacerbate this problem. Pakistan has a resource mismatch, she said, the population is escalating upwards and the availability of water is depleting. In an agrarian society we will stumble upon food and energy insecurities; the foundations of human needs according to Maslow. In a scenario where our leadership does not have the capacity to envision the serious devastation's that are up ahead, we need to rise up to the challenge.

Prof Minhas appreciated Prof Muhammad Umar and spoke of his efforts and participation in raising the Rawalpindi Medical College to new heights in providing care and groundbreaking academic and research activities with spherical support for psychiatry. (PR)

SIUT to celebrate 40 Years by
holding International Symposium

KARACHI: SIUT (Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation) will organize an international symposium in Karachi in December this year to celebrate the success of its unique philosophy of medical care “FREE WITH DIGNITY". Over hundred delegates including some globally renowned personalities of medical profession hailing from various parts of the world will attend the five -day international symposium beginning from December 8th.

SIUT is practicing a  homegrown  philosophy of tertiary medical care in the country on the basis of providing  access of the medical care in specialized fields without  any discrimination of cast, color, creed or religious belief and that too free of cost.

Organizers of the symposium have chalked out an elaborate program based on scientific sessions, professional workshops and public debate in the specialized fields of medical sciences including urology, nephrology, transplantation, oncology, hematology, gastroenterology, radiology, pathology and ethics. Developments taking place in the world of medical sciences and as how to translate those advancements for the benefit Pakistani population will also figure prominently in the sessions. (PR)

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