June 20, 2007

Three Psychiatrists Discuss How to Best Treat Schizophrenia In Developing Countries

PloS Medicine, a peer reviewed open access journal published by the Public Library of Science, showcased a debate of three psychiatrists working in India and Pakistan, Vikram Patel, Saeed Farooq, and R. Thara. They debate on how to best improve the care of the 25 million people suffering from schizophrenia in low and middle income countries. In 1990, a survey found that over two-thirds of those people were not receiving any treatment, and improving those statistics is one of the top priorities of mental health systems in low and middle income countries.

“Dr Vikram Patel discusses the crucial role that community health workers can play. Dr Saaed Farooq argues that the huge burden of untreated schizophrenia could be tackled by providing free antipsychotic medications and supervising patients while they take their treatment (akin to the way in which patients with TB are supervised when they take their antituberculous medications). Dr R Thara discusses the crucial importance of tackling the stigma of schizophrenia by offering proven therapies. “

Read the Full Story: Patel V, Farooq S, Thara R (2007) What is the best approach to treating schizophrenia in developing countries? PLoS Med 4(6): e159.

About PLoS Medicine

PLoS Medicine is an open access, freely available international medical journal. It publishes original research that enhances our understanding of human health and disease, together with commentary and analysis of important global health issues. For more information, visit http://www.plosmedicine.org


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