Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah, unveils plaque to perform groundbreaking of upcoming mental health facility in Karachi’s suburbs. Image Credit: Sindh govt

Karachi: A United Kingdom-based non-profit organisation, the Children of Adam, has started the construction of a state-of-the-art neuropsychiatric treatment facility in the suburbs of Karachi with a cost of Rs4 billion.

Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah, performed the groundbreaking of the facility that will provide both inpatient and outpatient treatment services.

The new facility will treat cases of Autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, developmental disabilities, Schizophrenic disorders, anxiety, depression, and many other issues related to mental health. The facility will have the capacity to admit up to 150 patients at a time.

A fully computerised system will be used for registration and tracking of the patients to ensure their complete care even after their discharge from the hospital. It will also provide the opportunity for mental health professionals including psychiatrists and para-medical staff to enhance their qualifications by earning internationally recognised diplomas in the discipline of psychiatric care.

The facility will also act as a detoxification centre for the treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts.

Another special focus of the facility will be the treatment and rehabilitation of children suffering from developmental disabilities.

While speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, Syed Murad Ali Shah appreciated that a foreign non-profit had come to Pakistan to establish a hospital for treating mental illnesses as the country with a population of 232 million had over 15 million suffering from various psychiatric problems.

He said the new facility would go a long way in ensuring the upkeep of the mental health of the people of Sindh.

Shah conceded that the densely populated city of Karachi, where a large number of people from other towns regularly come for getting treatment services, didn’t have proper facilities for treating mental health issues.

He told the audience that Sindh Mental Health Act had been passed in 2013 and later on a provincial Mental Health Authority had been established in 2017 to regulate psychiatric treatment services in the province.

He said the Sindh government had initiated the project of telehealth services for providing free counselling related to mental health. He informed the audience that 150 years-old Cowasjee Jehangir Institute of Psychiatry in Hyderabad would be upgraded by his government as a university.