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KU moot calls for raising awareness of rare diseases

KU moot calls for raising awareness of rare diseases

KU moot calls for raising awareness of rare diseases

KU moot calls for raising awareness of rare diseases

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KARACHI: Mental health and behavioral health disorders impose a significant and under-recognized burden on the global healthcare system, affecting social needs basic human rights, and the economy.

Between a quarter and a half of the global population is affected by a mental disorder at some point in life. Today, nearly one billion people live with a mental disorder, and in low-income countries, more than 75 percent of people with the disorder do not receive treatment.

Every year, close to three million people die due to substance abuse. The human cost is immense as around 800,000 people commit suicide every year, and that is a leading cause of death among young people.

These views were expressed by the renowned psychiatrist and meritorious Prof Dr Iqbal Afridi during his address at the Rare Disease Day 2024 organized by the Dr A. Q. Khan Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering of the University of Karachi at its Chinese Teachers Memorial Auditorium on Thursday.

He informed the audience that about 50 percent of mental health disorders start by the age of 14. People suffering from untreated mental health disorders are unable to realize their desired potential and are all too often exposed to a wide range of human rights violations.

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“Between 2011 and 2030, the cumulative economic output loss associated with mental disorders is projected to be US$16.3 trillion worldwide.”

Dr Iqbal Afridi shared that given the chronic nature of the disease, this translates into a significant economic impact worldwide. It is expected that in the next 10 years, depression will put more burden on nations than any other disease.

He quoted that according to the World Health Organization, the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted or, in some cases, halted critical mental health services in the 93 percent of countries worldwide, while the demand for mental health is increasing.

Meanwhile, the KU VC Prof Dr Khalid Mahmood Iraqi said that based on data worldwide, there is no doubt that rare diseases are increasing around the globe.

Dr Afsheen Ali from KU KIGBE shared that the primary goal of this campaign is to increase awareness among the public and decision-makers about the rare disease and its influence on the lives of families living with these conditions.

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Prof Dr Najma Patel shed light on different aspects of heart issues and the importance of promoting awareness about rare diseases in Pakistan.

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