Depressive disorders are the major problem which needs our urgent attention-Prof. Riaz Bhatti


10th National Neuropsycon at Lahore

Depressive disorders are the major problem
which needs our urgent attention-Prof. Riaz Bhatti

Psychiatrist & Psychologists should be appointed at
Tehsil and District Hospitals – Prof. Mazhar Malik

Proper attention and care can solve 50%
problems of patients-Governor Punjab

By Mubarak Ali

LAHORE: Mental disorders are on the increase throughout the world. The basic causes behind this are multiple pressures on the world population. In Pakistan worsening law and order situation, different sorts of challenges like electric and gas shortages and above all the ever increasing terrorism and different sort of malicious activities on the part of miscreants, have affected the basic fabric of the society. All this has multiplied the problem of the people and Pakistan has become the worst country to suffer the causalities and to render utmost sacrifices, not only financial losses but for human lives as well. This was stated by Prof. Riaz Bhatti, Chairman Organizing Committee of 10th National Neuropsycon, held in Lahore from April 25-27, 2014. It was organized by Pakistan Psychiatric Society & Psychiatric Welfare Association in collaboration with Psychiatry Department Rahbar Medical and Dental College, Psychiatry Department FJMC, Lahore, Pakistan Society of Neurology, Pakistan Society of Neurosurgeons, Pakistan Academy of Family Physicians, Pakistan Psychological Association and Pakistan Association of Clinical Psychologist. The theme of the conference was “optimizing unmet needs of psychiatric care in developing countries”. Ch. Muhammad Sarwar, Governor of Punjab inaugurated the conference.

Picture shows sitting on the dais from (L to R) Prof. Riaz Bhatti,
(Chairman Organizing Committee) Ch. Muhammad Sarwar Governor
of Punjab and Prof. Mazhar Malik President PPS during the
10th National Neuropsycon, held at Lahore from April 25-27, 2014.

Continuing Prof. Riaz Bhatti said that the biggest problems of the population are depressive disorders, from which every fourth person suffer, every fifth person suffers from anxiety disorders and sleep related problems. Every sixth person who suffers from depression and is unable to get appropriate help does attempt at his life and thus suicide is on ever increase in our society at the moment. Every 10th person suffer from epilepsy and one out of thousands persons suffer from serious psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia. In addiction five to six million people suffer from drug addition
Prof. Bhatti further said that by the Year 2020, accordingly to WHO depression would be the biggest problem of the world population even greater than the heart diseases. Even the patients suffering from the depression, which are diagnosed, less than 50% get the facilities for treatment and out these only 25% get the appropriate treatment due to lack of treatment facilities every sixth person suffering from depression, do commit suicide.

Picture on left shows Prof. Riaz Bhatti presenting shield to Governor Punjab Ch. Muhammad Sarwar
who was the Chief Guest in the inaugural session of the 10th National Neuropsycon. In other pictures
Governor Punjab presenting momentous to Prof. Muhammad Sharif Ch., Dr. Amerjeet Singh Bedi
Dr. Anjum Bashir, Prof. Syed Muhammad Sultan, Dr. Tariq M. Mian and Dr. Nasir Hussain.

In our society intolerance aggression and religious differences are making the situation worse. On one hand the facilities regarding mental health are dismal and on the other hand people still believe that the mental ailments are the result of Jadoo, Aaseb, Saaya, Toona, Totka and possession. No doubt quacks, like Aamils, Pir, Faqir and different religious versions of this sort are playing havoc with the mental health of the sufferers. Time has come that we should take appropriate measures and these unfortunate innocent victims may be provided with appropriate services. Government needs to take couple of immediate steps in this regards like strengthening the tertiary psychiatric care in teaching hospitals and to provide psychiatric units at each DHQ hospitals. In conclusion he quoted following verses by Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi.

Prof. Mazhar Malik, President Pakistan Psychiatric Society speaking at the occasion requested the Governor Punjab who was the chief guest at the occasion to fulfill the long awaited demand of PPS to create and establish 10 bedded psychiatric units for psychiatric and mentally ill patients at all Tehsil and District Headquarters Hospitals with appointment of Specialist Psychiatrists at these hospitals. He hoped that personal interest and directive of the Governor will definitely create way towards improving services and facilities for these deserving and neglected patients who are mostly left at the mercy of traditional faith healers and quacks. He also demanded that Mental Health Ordnance 2001 which has become provincial subject since the devolution of health be reviewed by the Provincial Assembly. Sindh Government has taken a lead and already approved Mental Health Act of 2001 by the Sindh Assembly, which protects the rights, provide modern and scientific treatment and care to the psychiatric and mentally ill patients.
Ch. Muhammad Sarwar, Governor of Punjab addressing the participants said that Punjab government has special focus on the health needs of the Province in general and we are also focusing on the mental needs of our people. Punjab Government has enhanced the budget to upgrade the health facilities. We should try our best to reduce the stigma against the mental illness. If we listen to the complaints of our people carefully majority of their problems can be solved. He urged the healthcare providers to listen to the patients, talk to them with smile which will help to overcome 50% of their problems. He also promised to talk to the Chief Minister Punjab to full fill the demand of provision of District and Tehsil level Psychiatrists and Clinical Psychologists posts, along with ten bedded inpatient units demanded by Pakistan Psychiatric Society. He lauded the efforts of Prof. Riaz Bhatti who is doing a great service to the humanity and our society by organizing these informative conferences which are the rich source of information in the field of psychiatry which still remains a neglected discipline.

Prof. Hasan Aziz an eminent Neuro Physician of the country presenting shield to Mr. Salman Rafique
Provincial Minister of Health, Government of Punjab during the concluding session of the 10th National
Neuropsycon. On right Mr. Salman Rafiq presenting mementoes to Prof. Iqbal Afridi,
Dr. Khawaja Hamid Rashid, Dr. Amjad Mehmood and Mrs. Riaz Bhatti.

Dr. Nazish Imran, who moderated this session in her remarks said that Mental Health is defined as a state of well being in which every individual realizes his/ her own potential, can cope with the normal stress of life, can work productively & faithfully and is able to make a contribution in the community. Mental and substance abuse disorders are the leading cause of disability worldwide. About 900,000 people commit suicide every year and 86% of suicide occur in low and middle income countries. In this scenario we need to do our utmost to optimize unmet needs of psychiatric care in our country. Dr. Nisar presented the vote of thanks.

Public awareness session

Zehni Beemari ya Jin Bhoot Ka Saaya (Asal Haqiqat Kia?) was the topic of media & public awareness session which is a regular feature of neuropsycon every year. Mr. Zafarullah Shafiq a religious scholar, Prof. Riaz Bhatti, Dr. Khalid Gill, Dr. Anjum Bashir, Dr. Salahuddin Babar, Dr. Amjad Mehmood, Dr. Khawaja Hamid Rashid, Dr. Usman Hotiana , Dr. Sadaf and Dr. Ghulam Rasool were the panelist in this session. Prof. Bhatti in his introductory remarks said that these ailments are scientific disorders and we have the treatment modalities to avoid malpractices by these Quacks and Hakims and Faith Healers. People coming to us are the tip of ice burg. These so called Hakims, Quacks and Amils claim remedy to all kind of ailments which have just placebo effects. Mr. Zafarullah Shafiq stated that Jin and Jadoo is true to some extent and it is mentioned in Quran. Allaha Almighty has stated in Sura Namal that one who has knowledge can do their job faster than Jinnat. These so called Amils and Jadoo walas are illiterate and our police is much stronger if they use their stick. Dr. Hamid Gil said that we treat software not hardware. Psychiatrist are few and other doctors have not much awareness regarding psychiatric ailments. We should put our house in order and work with dedication. Dr. Amjad said that Jinnat do exists but the way people project them that they can do this and that and ask to do this is questionable. When we treat these people with anticonvulsants these Jins disappear as long as patients continue treatment. If we create awareness this problem can be solved. Dr. Salahuddin Babar said that our streets are occupied by Amils and there is dearth of qualified psychiatrist. We should work for education and awareness because qualified people are the need of the hour. This problem can be minimized but not controlled completely. Khawaja Rasheed stated that lack of education is the main cause of this problem and our poor people are being cheated by these thagus . We should involve these people sitting at Astanas in our awareness programmes and convince them to refer these people to qualified psychiatrists. Dr. Sadaf stated that social and cultural issue is our main problem and we lack patience Dr. Usman said that we have to educate the patients. We do not listen to them properly. We should have positive thinking and hope he added Dr. Ghulam Rasool said that there are some process which we still do not understand. We require multi factorial approach to tackle psychosocial problem which needs further elaboration.


Mr. Salman Rafique along with Prof. Riaz Bhatti presenting prize to the
winner of Adamjee Pharma lucky draw during the 10th National
Neuropsycon held at Lahore recently. Picture on extreme left also
shows Mr. Fazal Farooq, Managing Director Adamjee Pharma.

Concluding Session

Mr. Salman Rafique Provincial Minister of Health, Government of Punjab was the chief guest in the concluding session. Prof. Riaz Bhatti speaking at the occasion said that conference was largely attended by Psychiatrist from all over the country besides participation of experts from abroad. These so called Peers, Faqeers and Amils are looters and people are not aware of their nefarious activities. It is our mission and we will continue to create awareness about mental ailments, he added.
Speaking at the occasion Mr. Salman Rafique said that Psychiatry is important subject which is being discussed and is neglected in our society. There are lot of issues which are coming up with the introduction of new technologies. We should educate our GP’s who have the direct contact with the patients. We should appoint competent people and discourage Safarash culture from our society. Proper budgeting and management can save lot of money and help to improve health delivery system. We should compete our neighbors in the field of IT and health sector, he added. He advised to organizers to have follow-up sessions and coordinate with health department for proper implementation of their suggestions and demands. Punjab Government has increased its health budget and has special focus on the health needs of the Province, he added.

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