Free Pharmacological Treatment For Schizophrenia In Developing Countries – Case For A Public Health Intervention

Article Title: Free Pharmacological Treatment For Schizophrenia In Developing Countries – Case For A Public Health Intervention

Author(s): Saeed Farooq

Institute(s): Department of Psychiatry. PGMI Lady Reading Hospital, Peshawar

Journal: Journal of Pakistan Psychiatric Society, 2006, Vol. 3, No. 1, p. 1–2

Correspondence Address: sfarooqlrh@yahoo.com

Schizophrenia ranks 6th in the league of causes of disability worldwide as measured by Years of Life lived with Disability. Consequently in many developed countries it has been target of major service initiatives such as early intervention for psychosis. The treatment of severe mental illness, particularly schizophrenia has not received much attention in developing countries mostly due to focus on high prevalence disorders such as depression. This is unfortunate. These countries have predominantly younger population, an age of high risk for schizophrenia. It has been estimated that about 45% of those suffering from schizophrenia worldwide by the year 2000 were living in the developing world3. Two important articles in this issue, both from India, highlight the issues we face in the care for this disorder in our countries. While Grover et al in an exhaustive review on the cost of treatment for schizophrenia show that schizophrenia results in high cost for the health systems, Perhaps in his insightful guest editorial highlights an often-neglected issue of putting the evidence in proper context. These articles should help us to think innovative strategies to provide care for those suffering from this chronic disorder.

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