How Lebanon's doctors are taking on cultural taboos surrounding schizophrenia
Doctors and specialists are urging health care reforms in Lebanon to better help those suffering from schizophrenia.
“Cases of schizophrenia are one of the most dangerous psychological diseases, along with the symptoms and disorders that accompany them, which affect the patients no matter their social, cultural or religious affiliations,” said Fouad Tahan, speaking at a medical conference titled “Cases of Schizophrenia.”
The event was held Friday at the Hospital de la Croix Psychiatrique in the Metn town of Jal al-Dib under the patronage of Health Minister Wael Abu Faour and was attended by a number of specialists and nurses from Lebanon, France, Jordan, Qatar and Egypt.
Tahan, chairman of the scientific committee at the hospital, also discussed the financial difficulties faced by patients at the hospital despite the Health Ministry’s help.
Schizophrenia is a mental health condition that causes a range of different psychological symptoms, including hallucinations, delusions and changes in behavior.
According to Charles Baddoura, who headed the conference, the aim was to decrease the levels of all types of disease and therefore decrease the cost of treatment, as well as “make good health quality available to everyone.”
Baddoura said there were currently 180 medical centers across Lebanon waiting for accreditation from a Canadian company that could be of use in terms of early detection of the disease and undergoing the necessary treatment.
“The problem lies in our health care system, especially in the field of public health insurance, whereby 52 percent of citizens do not have insurance, with the absence of pensions and optional medical coverage,” he added.
Baddoura also raised the issue of using too much medication to treat psychological illnesses, calling on specialists to mitigate the drugs and inform parents of the risks that could result from prescription.