Tuesday, April 23, 2019 | ePaper

Mental disorders account for 13pc global burden of disease

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Life Report :
Mental health constitutes a major public health challenge undermining the social and economic development throughout much of the developing world like Bangladesh, opined Prof Dr Md Harunur Rashid, a dedicated and exceptional psychiatrist in the present prospect of the country who contributed a significant role in the field of mental health treatment of countrymen.
He has underscored the need for dynamic and proactive policies so that mental patients can get proper treatment in Bangladesh. According to World Health Organisation (WHO), it is estimated that mental disorders account for 13 per cent of the global burden of disease.
"We have a misconception that mentally sick people are insane which is completely wrong. If we provide proper treatment facilities, the sufferer will be able to overcome mental crisis", he said. Dr Rashid explained that the most crucial challenge is the absence of a dynamic and proactive stewardship able to design and enforce policies to further strengthen and enhance the overall mental health care.
Such initiative will bring a fruitful atmosphere for further development of mental health care system in Bangladesh, he suggested. Expressing his view on psychological disorder people or disease, Dr Rashid said when physically sick person bears their diseases since long, at one stage he or she may turn as a mentally sick person.
Dr Rashid obtained MBBS (DU) and M. Phil. Micro. (BSMMU), MCPS, FCPS (Psychiatry) from home and abroad. Currently, he is the assistant professor of Delta Medical College and Hospital, Mirpur and former assistant professor, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).
He flourished his name not only in the country but the international arena through his tremendous successful activities in the field of mental health treatment. Dr Rashid is now recognised as a mental heal expert in globally which is a huge admiration for the country.     
However Prof Rashid said, in most developing countries mental health remains utterly neglected by the health system and in Bangladesh, a meager 0.5 per cent of the total health budget is allocated to mental health.
On the other hand, above 65 per cent of the total expenditure on health are out-of-pocket expenses, mental illness takes a heavy toll on the poor and underprivileged people.
The mental health care system in Bangladesh is facing multifarious problems including lack of public mental health facilities, scarcity of skilled workforce, inadequate financial resource allocation and social stigma, he observed.
Bangladesh still does not have a comprehensive mental health policy to strengthen the entire health system, he added.
Categorically, the doctor said, the mental sickness may exist along with the diseases like Epilepsy, Stroke, Brain Tumor, any sorts of Cancer, Kidney failure, Lever/Heart failure, Diabetes, Thyroid problem, abdominal diseases like Irritable Biel syndrome, Asthma etc.
The doctor suggested that a mentally sick person have to admit hospital under a psychiatrist to overcome the mental crisis. When an admitted patient at any hospital may turn a mental patient, definitely, the duty doctors of that particular hospital will call a psychiatrist for the treatment of the patient.
The physician also said the affect of a mentally sick person. He said in our country the mentally sick person is not getting proper treatment timely, and for that, the patient are at a severe health hazard.
"It is a disease like other common disease, so, people should not hide or ignore the mental disease", Dr Rashid also said.
He urged people to take proper treatment under a psychiatrist for overcoming the mental sickness.
"If a mentally sick person do not get treatment timely, it becomes so difficult to control his illness. Besides, the affected patient suffers from tremendous mental afflictions", he added.
He underscored the need for raising awareness to take proper mental treatment for the betterment of a patient's physical and mental sickness.
"Wide range of public awareness is needed in this regard to overcome mental sickness", he said.
However, Prof Dr Md Harunur Rashid said Bangladesh needs a comprehensive mental health policy, which can contribute significantly to strengthen the entire mental health development initiatives from both public and private sectors.

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