75% Pakistani adults suffering from stress as the result of COVID-19 pandemic

Agha Khan University mental health study found 3 out of 4 Pakistanis under stress

Aga Khan University conducted mental health study in Pakistan and found out that three out of four Pakistani adults are suffering from moderate or high levels of stress during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The research was conducted by the university's department of community health sciences (CHS) by carrying out an online survey of 373 respondents between April and May. 
75% Pakistani adults are suffering from stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The study also found that nearly one in three are experiencing moderate or severe anxiety. The study’s first phase used validated screening tools to determine if people had common anxiety disorder.  More than 90% of the participants were from Sindh and Punjab in the research.
The study found that survey participants were much more concerned about their loved ones catching the disease with nearly eight out of ten respondents, or 76%, feeling a lot of fear or extreme fear of those close to them falling ill. In contrast, four of ten respondents, or 36%, reported a lot of fear or extreme fear about catching the virus themselves.
The press release issued by Aga Khan University said that   "respondents ranked the top three causes of anxiety and stress as being fear of contracting the virus, financial losses during the pandemic and losing a loved one to COVID-19.
The pandemic has exposed our social and economic vulnerabilities and created widespread uncertainty in society,” said Professor Sameen Siddiqi, the CHS department chair. “If left unchecked, stress associated with COVID-19 can lead to distress and the distress can lead to disease.”
Those already suffering from anxiety and stress are especially vulnerable to advanced illnesses such as depression and other mental health disorders, added Maryam Lakhdir, the study’s principal investigator and a senior instructor in the CHS department.
“The findings suggest that we are at risk of a mental health crisis during a pandemic. Policymakers must prioritise psychosocial interventions to limit the chances of long-lasting scars on our mental health,” Lakhdir said.
Before the COVID19 pandemic hit Pakistan and increase the stress, more than 20 million people in Pakistan, which is around 10pc of the total population, was already  suffering  from brain and neurological problems and disorders. Despite this number being much higher than people suffering from heart diseases, cancer or diabetes; mental health remains the most neglected field in Pakistan.
In Pakistan, it is very unfortunate that due to shortage of mental health professionals, mental health facilities and relatively low levels of awareness about mental disorders, millions of people and their families suffer every day. In countries where people are facing social and security challenges such as in Pakistan, one sees an increase in anxiety, stress, and trauma, which are contributing factors to the development of mental health issues.
                                                                      Rukhsana Manzoor Deputy Editor

1 comment:

  1. Aye do not agree with this study.This may be with city population which is abt 40%.Reat of
    ..population which consists on agricultural workers and their allied s & are below the poverty line or coming close to them have no such new development they are already under stress.Because of hardworking and other factors their immune system was able to go through .understand abt 10 % death are frm this ignored segment of population.


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