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WHO’s guidelines for adults with severe mental disorders

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GENEVA: The World Health Organization (WHO) published on Wednesday the world’s first guidelines for the management of physical health conditions of adults with severe mental disorders.
According to the WHO, people with severe mental disorders generally have a life expectancy of 10 to 20 years shorter than the general population. That includes moderate to severe depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.
Though the majority of these premature deaths are due to physical health conditions, access to comprehensive health services, which offer health promotion, screening, and treatment for physical as well as mental health conditions, remain out of reach for the majority of them.
As the first of its kind, the new WHO guidelines aim to help to treat people with severe mental health disorders who have cardiovascular disease, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and hepatitis B and C, and those with tobacco dependence or other substances and/or who are overweight.
It provides recommendations related to lifestyle changes, such as a healthier diet, increased physical activity and tobacco cessation, psychosocial support, and medicines, taking into account possible interactions between different medicines prescribed for mental and physical health conditions.
To improve the health of people with severe mental disorders and increasing their life-span, the guidelines recommend individual health-care interventions, health-systems adjustments, and actions that can be taken at the community level.
Meanwhile, training of health workers, the supply of appropriate medicines and the adaptation of health information systems to collect data on service utilization need to be put in place if not already established.
At the individual level, the WHO said that risk factors for poor physical health, such as smoking, an unhealthy diet or lack of regular exercise, and physical health conditions need to be identified and treated. And at the health system level, mental health practitioners need to be better able to provide advice on and treat physical health conditions, and physical health clinicians need to be better able to address the needs of people with severe mental disorders.
In a nutshell, the guidelines are primarily intended for use by health-care workers providing services for people with severe mental disorders at all levels, while also providing useful information for policy-makers and health-care planners, mental health program managers, the patients, and their families.

 

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DNA could potentially predict people’s lifespan: study

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LONDON: By looking at people’s DNA, researchers can potentially predict whether a person can expect to live longer or die sooner than average, according to a study released on Tuesday by the University of Edinburgh.

A team led by the university’s Usher Institute looked at genetic data from more than half a million people alongside records of their parents’ lifespan.

Some 12 areas of the human genome were pinpointed as having a significant impact on lifespan, including five sites that have not been reported before.

The team analyzed the combined effect of genetic variations that influence lifespan to produce a scoring system.

They found that people who score in the top ten percent of the population might expect to live up to five years longer than those who score in the lowest ten percent, according to the team.

“If we take 100 people at birth, or later, and use our lifespan score to divide them into ten groups, the top group will live five years longer than the bottom on average,” said Dr Peter Joshi, who is an AXA Fellow at the Usher Institute.

The study has been published in the journal eLife.

 

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Sr. artists to get Health Cards

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KARACHI: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain Tuesday said health cards would be issued to senior artists to avail better medical treatment facilities in hospitals.
In the phase, the health cards would be given to the artists of 45-plus years old, he said while responding to a suggestion with regard to the provision of relief to the legendary and senior artists of the country.
The minister was talking to film producers and film-makers in a meeting here at the Sindh Governor’s House.
He said active efforts were being made to encourage the films production and increase the number of cinema houses and screens to entertain the people.
Cooperation from the Pakistani embassies could also be sought to help the film-makers sell their films abroad, he added.
He suggested that the mode of sale of the film should be taken into account ahead of completion. He said the film policy would be announced after a few amendments. “We are trying to make a film board of the country.”
He said if anybody wanted to establish a film city or state-of-the-art studio, the government would provide possible cooperation for the purpose.
Fawad said 16 famous festivals (Melas) of Pakistan like Shindur Mela, Basnat, Nauroz, PSL and Polo festival would be highlighted through Lok Virsa to attract the foreign tourists and to promote tourism in the country.
He said, “We are also considering to ease the visa rules for 66 countries to promote tourism.”
Earlier, a presentation was made by United Producers Association (UPA) General Secretary Ismail Jilani about the problems and issues being confronted by the film producers.
He discussed various suggestions for promotion of the film industry in the country. He also called for legislation to air only local contents on television channels during the prime time that is from 7 pm to 11 pm.
He urged to impose a ban on illegal contents by the cable operators and its patronage by the advertisers.
The Information Minister called upon the filmmakers to present their suggestions with regard to the further promotion of film-making in the country.

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Health

Chest Pain Unit opened in Landhi

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KARACHI: Adviser to Sindh CM for Information, Law & Anti Corruption, Barrister Murtaza Wahab today said that NICVD had saved 5,000 human lives by providing improved healthcare facilities at doorsteps.
Addressing an inaugural ceremony of Chest Pain Unit in Landhi, he said that over 150,000 patients had benefited from the initiative. He said that improved health facilities had been provided to the people since the provincial government has taken over the control of NICVD back in 2010. Barrister Murtaza Wahab said that establishment of 8th Chest Pain unit in Landhi was a gift to the people of the area by the Government of Sindh.
“Pakistan Peoples Party pledges to expand healthcare program to far-flung areas of the province,” he said and added that because of NICVD satellite facility, people were getting free of charge quality treatment near their towns and they were no more visiting Karachi for heart-related treatment. He said that Sindh government was also planning to expand National Institute of Child Health (NICH) throughout province on the model of NICVD.
Addressing on the occasion Mayor Karachi Waseem Akhtar said that performance of NICVD was commendable adding that chest pain units remained successful in providing timely medical aid to citizens. He appreciated the Sindh government and role of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah for providing people with this health service facility.
He assured full support of Karachi Municipal Corporation and said that if they work together, better results could be achieved. On the occasion, executive director NICVD also spoke on the occasion and presented future plans of NICVD. Later talking to newsmen, Barrister Murtaza Wahab said that operation against encroachments was being launched on the orders of the apex court, we endorse it, but PPP also strongly believed in the resettlement of affected people of encroachment drive.

 

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