off record
Shaukat Ali Jawaid


Need for Behaviour Therapy


Speaking at the PharmEvo Thematic Calendar launch ceremony at Rawalpindi on December 6, 2017, Dr. Shahbaz Kureshi a noted cardiologist from Islamabad opined that “a majority of our population needs behaviour therapy to improve their everyday behaviour. We also need to start working on behaviour cardiology. Almost about 40% of our population suffer from Depression and anxiety and it also affects the prognosis of the diseases”.

There is no denying the fact that we all need behaviour therapy to improve our everyday behaviour. Most of our problems and difficulties are self-created by our own behaviour. We all talk about our rights and no one thinks about their responsibilities. Every day we see on the roads, people even the educated elite breaking traffic signals, we do not follow the traffic rules which results in too many Road Traffic Accidents, trauma which then increases the burden on our healthcare facilities. Vast majority of motorcyclists do not wear helmet, in case of accident, head injury lead to serious disability or even death. We do not pay taxes honestly but demand from the government to improve social services, increased allocations for Health and Education. Even the richest countries in the world cannot provide universal health coverage and education to every one if the people do not pay taxes. It has also become a fashion to criticize the government for everything without realizing that we all are also responsible for all this.

If we are serious to reform the society each one of us has to do self-analysis first. Just be honest and find out the position you are holding, did you get it on merit, through fair selection? Are you preforming your duties honestly or you have usurped someone else’s right and maneuvered to get this job? Do not harm others, be affectionate and helpful to everyone who comes in contact with you. Be kind to all those who work under you and take care of them. Remember in a society where there is no justice, no fair play, equal opportunities for progress and development are denied, murder of merit becomes routine, professional ethics are not followed, it leads to numerous court cases which linger on for years and years without any decision by the courts. All this adds to depression, frustration. Those who do not have the means to knock the doors of courts, suffer silently and all this affects their productivity.  To initiate any reform agenda is not so difficult provided we all are prepared to work honestly.

First of all let us reform ourselves and then do not support all those who indulge in unethical practices, financial and intellectual corruption. Do not invite those to any function, meeting you organize and do not attend any meeting where such people are invited. If they happen to come in at any such meeting, walk out or leave quietly from the meeting. Stop all social interactions with such people. Let their families and children realize that they enjoy no respect in the society. A complete social boycott is the answer if you do not have the means and courage to stop such people from their nefarious activities. Just ignore them everywhere and at all times. Until and unless we start such a movement there is no possibility of any positive change in the society which has degenerated to a great extent. Before expecting others to do something, you start playing your role. Slowly and gradually it will have a positive effect. Try to increase your social networking with all those who think on similar lines, help and support them. All those healthcare professionals who are known for their unethical medical practice and unethical behaviour should be kept at a safe distance. It might put them to shame and force them to change their behaviour.

While talking to a visiting Professor of Internal Medicine and a renowned Diabetologist from Egypt, I told him that I had heard a lot about Al-Azhar University and Al-Azhar Mosque but during my visit to Cairo, Egypt a few years ago, I was disappointed to see the condition of the mosque and its surrounding environment besides lack of facilities. At this, he remarked, you should not be disappointed. When the whole country and the society has degenerated, how do you expect something different at Al-Azhar Mosque and the university? Any country which has frequent military interventions cannot and will never progress and develop and we in Egypt have been blessed with military rule for too long. He then went on to say that look, people of India and Pakistan are similar. In 1947, you separated from India on the basis of religion. But what happened, India has progressed a lot but you in Pakistan continue to face crises after crises. The only difference is that you too had frequent military intervention while this was not the case with India. They had democracy and allowed it to flourish which over the years gave strength to the people who made their rulers accountable. Those who failed to deliver, were thrown out. But look at most of the Muslim world. We are ourselves mutilating Islam, he opined. We the community as a whole are responsible for all this because we do not resist such military interventions, do not stand up and do not protest? I think he was right to a great extent and we need to ponder over these issues and to begin with first of all improve our own personal behaviour.

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