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Experts Call for Integration Not Alienation of Schizophrenic Patients

In a medical symposium, experts called for integration, not alienation of schizophrenia affected persons in the .

In addition, the symposium highlighted the urgent need for doctors to focus on treating the person as a whole when handling schizophrenia cases through a four fold treatment that works on the patient’s social, physical, mental and psychological aspects.

The symposium focused on the importance of employers and psychiatric groups to work together to eliminate victimization of schizophrenia patients at workplace and ensure that their jobs are secure, under supervision.

Dr. Alaa Haweel, Consultant and Psychiatrist, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, said: “Just about less than half percent of the UAE adult population is schizophrenic. Schizophrenic people often lose their jobs as the disease can affect the productivity of the patient, not to mention his social and thinking skills. In the UAE, many of these patients are working as the government policy encourages the private and public sectors to be considerate to these cases. government has launched a division which is one of the best in the region to offer day and house treatment to the Schizophrenia related patients to enhance their social skills through a group of psychiatrists and physiologists. Advanced techniques are used which work on enhancing the results, specially the negative symptoms related to this disease.”

“Schizophrenia-affected persons flourish where the employees are considerate. We have a committee which looks into the job fitness of every patient. We liaise with his boss and colleagues and advise them how to best communicate with the patient to get best results of the treatment. Also we advise on the working environment ideal to his health and how to let him maintain his job.”

The conference discussed the effectiveness of Quetiapine Extended Release, approved by the (Food and Drug Administration) for the treatment of Schizophrenia.

Dr. Haweel said that Schizophrenic patients in the UAE could be students or working people or anyone else. Stigma of Schizophrenia in the UAE is rapidly decreasing and the families are caring, so that people with this disease carry on with their normal lives and raise families which are supervised by the “Extended Family” of their parents at most cases.

Quetiapine Extended Release from AstraZeneca enhances compliance of Schizophrenic patients as the once daily dosage makes it easier on the patient to comply with the treatment and thereby preventing relapses.

Dr. Issam Emam, Head of Psychiatric Division, , said: “One percent of the people in the UAE are prone to Schizophrenia due to genetic factors.

Dr. Issam said early detection helps in more effective treatment with most of patients getting fully integrated in society, thanks to the advanced medicines, and added that the UAE had made remarkable strides in this area since 2005.

René Kahn, Associated Scientist of Julius Clinical Research, who led the discussion, threw light on the status of schizophrenia in the world and the importance of early effective treatment. A specialist in Psychiatry and in Neurology, René Kahn is Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Head of the Division of Neuroscience at the University Medical Center (UMC) Utrecht, The Netherlands.

While Dr. Emam pointed out that 60 percent of the schizophrenia patients followed the treatment and were able to lead normal lives, while 40 percent did not comply with it due to ignorance which leads to relapses. Also, families sometimes hold a responsibility in not getting their children to continue the treatment set by doctors.

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