Sunday September 23, 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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Ebola Increases The Number of Orphans in DRC: UNICEF

WHO reports progress is being made in limiting the spread of the deadly virus in some areas.

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Ebola, UNICEF. congo
A boy runs past a dispenser containing water mixed with disinfectant, east of Mbandaka, DRC. VOA

The U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reports a growing number of children in eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo orphaned by the Ebola outbreak in the region are at risk of stigmatization and abandonment.

UNICEF reports a number of children have died from the disease. Others, it says, have lost one or both parents to Ebola or have been left to fend for themselves while their parents are confined in Ebola treatment centers.

UNICEF spokesman, Christophe Boulierac, says his and other aid agencies so far have identified 155 children who have been orphaned or separated from their parents with no one to care for them. He says these children are extremely vulnerable.

Ebola Congo, WHO
Photo taken Sept 9, 2018, shows health workers walking with a boy suspected of having the Ebola virus at an Ebola treatment centre in Beni, Eastern Congo. VOA

“Children who lose a parent due to Ebola are at risk of being stigmatized, isolated or abandoned, in addition to the experience of losing a loved one or primary caregiver.”

Boulierac says UNICEF worries about the physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing of these orphaned and separated children. He says his agency is tailoring its assistance programs to meet the specific needs of each individual child.

“For instance, a new-born who has lost his mother has different needs than a school-aged child. Our support to an orphaned or unaccompanied child typically includes psycho-social care, food and material assistance, and support to reintegrate into school,” Boulierac said.

Ebola, WHO, UNICEF
Congolese health workers register people and take their temperatures before they are vaccinated against Ebola in the village of Mangina in North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. VOA

Ebola was declared on August 1 in the DRC’s conflict-ridden North Kivu and Ituri provinces. This is the 10th outbreak in the DRC since Ebola was first identified in 1976. Latest estimates by the World Health Organization find 147 confirmed and probable cases of Ebola in the eastern part of the country, including 97 deaths.

Also Read: Progress Has Been Made in Containing Ebola In Congo: WHO

WHO reports progress is being made in limiting the spread of the deadly virus in some areas. But, it warns the epidemic is far from over and much work to combat the disease lies ahead. (VOA)