Tuesday December 18, 2018

WHO may add gaming disorder as a mental health condition

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WHO may add gaming disorder as a mental health condition
WHO may add gaming disorder as a mental health condition. wikimedia common
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London, Dec 24, 2017: Are your kids addicted to video games? Beware, soon their behaviour might be classified as a mental health condition by the World Health Organisation (WHO),the media reported. For the first time, WHO is thinking of adding gaming disorder to its International Classification of Diseases (ICD), the New Scientist reported, earlier last week.

The ICD — a diagnostic manual that’s published by the WHO — was last updated 27 years ago, in 1990. The 11th edition of the manual is due in 2018, and will include gaming disorder as a serious health condition to be monitored. In the draft of the 11th version released by WHO, gaming disorder is described as “a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour (‘digital gaming’ or ‘video-gaming’), which may be online (that is, over the internet) or offline”.

The draft currently lists a variety of behaviours that clinicians could use to determine if a person’s gaming has become a serious health condition. According to this draft, someone has gaming disorder if they have impaired control over gaming, in terms of frequency, intensity, duration, termination.

These people give increasing priority to gaming “to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests”, and that they will continue gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences. Further, in order for a diagnosis to be assigned, the behaviour of addiction to games should be evident over a period of at least 12 months.

“Health professionals need to recognise that gaming disorder may have serious health consequences,” Vladimir Poznyak, a member of the WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, was quoted as saying to the Independent. “Most people who play video games don’t have a disorder, just like most people who drink alcohol don’t have a disorder either. However, in certain circumstances overuse can lead to adverse effects,” Poznyak added. (IANS)

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Road Traffic Accidents Cause 1.35 Mn Deaths Each Year: WHO

WHO noted that 48 middle- and high-income countries that have implemented strong road traffic laws and other safety measures have made progress in reducing road deaths.

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Traffic Crashes, Road Traffic
Two bikes were involved in an accident with a bus that crashed and turned on its roof near the town of Franschhoek, South Africa, March 7, 2015. VOA

The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for urgent action to put a brake on road traffic crashes that kill 1.35 million people every year, mostly in poor developing countries.

In Geneva, the U.N. agency launched its global status report on road safety 2018.

The report found road traffic injuries to be the leading killer of children and young people aged five to 29 years, with a death occurring every 24 seconds. The report said more than half of those killed are pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcycle riders and passengers.

Etienne Krug, head of the U.N. Agency’s Department on Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention, called these deaths a huge inequality issue.

Traffic Signals, Road Traffic
Traffic and congestion on roads is frequent in all cities of India. Wikimedia

“Low-income countries have one percent of the vehicles in the world and 13 percent of all the deaths; while high-income countries have 40 percent of all the vehicles,” Krug said. “So, that is 40 times more, but only seven percent of the deaths.That is half of the deaths with 40 times more vehicles.”

The report said death rates are highest in Africa and lowest in Europe. Some of the key risk factors include speeding, drinking and driving, and failure to use seat belts, motorcycle helmets and child restraints.

Krug said putting the right measures in place will save lives. These include the right legislation and enforcement, creating special lanes for cyclists and improving the quality of vehicles.

Road accidents in India
Road accidents in India. Pixabay

“It is not acceptable that vehicles are being sold in developing countries that look the same as the vehicles that we see here in Switzerland or the U.S. or anywhere else, but that are not,” Krug told VOA. “Because to make them cheaper, they have been stripped of all of their safety features, such as air bags or electronic stability control, etc.”

WHO noted that 48 middle- and high-income countries that have implemented strong road traffic laws and other safety measures have made progress in reducing road deaths.

Also Read: HIV Epidemic Spreading Rapidly in Pakistan: WHO

However, it said no such progress has been made in low-income countries where safety measures are lacking. (VOA)