20pc children suffer from psychological problems
KARACHI: Seven per cent of Pakistani children from three years of age suffer from one or the other psychiatric disorder, while the percentage increases from 18 to 20 by the age of 14 years. Dr A Ghani Khan, a senior child psychiatrist associated with National Institute of Child Health (NICH) addressing a seminar ‘Psychological and Psychiatric Problems, jointly organised by SADA Welfare Foundation and Lions Club International, on Saturday disclosed that there was another three per cent of those inflicted with mental retardation. Common disorders noticed among local children included Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Tick Disorder and Child Abuse etc. “Genetic is registered to be the commonest aetiological factor in context of our children,” Dr Ghani said. However, he added life events also play an important role and these could be broken homes, death of a parent, large family size, low social status, maternal psychiatric disorder and child abuse.
The psychiatrist regretted that while there exist a high chance of recovery among the children suffering from psychological disorders yet associated myths to these as well as rampant trend of denial hampers provision for needed psychiatric care and medical intervention. He identified cost and duration of treatment as the most pertinent issues for local parents. This he said in a scenario where boy kids are more affected than girls – which was contradictory to the trend in adult population where women are more commonly witnessed suffering from psychiatric ailments. Prof Afroze Ramzan, Director NICH addressing the seminar said that high incidence of acute ailments as diarrhoea, measles, pneumonia draw much more attention as compared to chronic ailments among kids. “This is despite the fact that chronic ailments as diabetes, kidney infections, cancers and Thalassaemia etc have their severe psychological consequences further aggravating condition of the child patients,” she observed.
Doctors, owing to heavy burden of chronic ailments largely fail to take into account psychological problems and psychiatric disorders, even those consequent to physical conditions of the patients, she elaborated. This, Prof Afroze said is despite the fact that children are further effected while noticing distress and anxiety among their parents. With regard to psychological impact of chronic diseases among child patents inflicted with it, the senior pediatrician said stress of being put on dialysis, administration of insulin, transfusion of blood at frequent intervals may appear benign but are major pressures experienced by kids. She strongly recommended provision for psychiatric counselling and posts for both child psychiatrists and child psychologists at all hospitals across the country. She said MRI unit at NICH will be formally inaugurated on Jan 12, on the eve of two-day Second Annual Symposium of National Institute of Health (NICH). The seminar was also addressed by Zaira Khan, Clinical Psychologists, Mahjabeen Sadiq, Educational Psychologists, Nighat Javed, District Governor, Lions Club International, Fauzia Siddiqui, Sada Welfare Foundation and Tallat Hassan.
Source: The News