The ‘lost gen­er­a­tion’ of Mid­dle East men War, vi­o­lence and tur­moil af­fect­ing men in par­tic­u­lar

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Sui­cide and mur­der take 10 times as many lives as war does in the Mid­dle East and nearby re­gions, cre­at­ing a “lost gen­er­a­tion,” par­tic­u­larly among men, re­searchers said yes­ter­day. These vi­o­lent acts ac­counted for 1.4 mil­lion deaths in 2015 in the East­ern Mediter­ranean re­gion, which in­cludes 22 na­tions such as Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Ara­bia, Pak­istan, So­ma­lia, Su­dan, Syria and the United Arab Emi­rates, said the re­port in the In­ter­na­tional Jour­nal of Pub­lic Health.

Wars in the East­ern Mediter­ranean re­gion­home to 600 mil­lion peo­ple-took an ad­di­tional 144,000 lives. “In­tractable and en­demic vi­o­lence is cre­at­ing a lost gen­er­a­tion of chil­dren and young adults,” said lead au­thor Ali Mok­dad, direc­tor for Mid­dle East­ern Ini­tia­tives at the In­sti­tute for Health Met­rics and Eval­u­a­tion (IHME) at the Univer­sity of Wash­ing­ton. “The fu­ture of the Mid­dle East is grim un­less we can find a way to bring sta­bil­ity to the re­gion.”

Re­searchers also found a “sharp in­crease” in men­tal health con­di­tions such as de­pres­sion, anx­i­ety, bipo­lar dis­or­der, and schizophre­nia in the East­ern Mediter­ranean. “In 2015, nearly 30,000 peo­ple in the re­gion com­mit­ted sui­cide and an­other 35,000 died from in­ter­per­sonal vi­o­lence, rep­re­sent­ing in­creases of 100 per­cent and 152 per­cent, re­spec­tively, over the past 25 years,” said the re­port. “In other parts of the world dur­ing the same pe­riod, the num­ber of deaths from sui­cide in­creased 19 per­cent and in­ter­per­sonal vi­o­lence by 12 per­cent.”

Short­age of ex­perts

Mean­while, ex­perts such as coun­selors, psy­chi­a­trists and psy­chol­o­gists are in se­vere short­age. Coun­tries such as Libya, Su­dan and Ye­men have just 0.5 psy­chi­a­trists per 100,000 peo­ple, said the re­port. In com­par­i­son, among Euro­pean na­tions the ra­tio ranges from nine per 100,000 to more than 40. Re­searchers also found a 10-fold in­crease in deaths re­lated to HIV/AIDS be­tween 1990 and 2015.

Most of the cases of death from HIV/AIDS oc­curred in Dji­bouti, So­ma­lia, and Su­dan. “In this re­gion, in­di­vid­u­als in­fected with HIV are dy­ing faster than the rest of the world,” said as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor at IHME, Char­bel El Bcheraoui. “This is a sign that HIV pa­tients are not re­ceiv­ing proper treat­ment in an era where HIV can be well con­trolled with the ap­pro­pri­ate treat­ment reg­i­mens.” The en­tire re­port in­cludes 15 pa­pers and three ed­i­to­ri­als. The data comes from the most re­cent es­ti­mates from the an­nual Global Bur­den of Dis­eases, In­juries, and Risk Fac­tors study (GBD). The GBD is put to­gether by more than 2,300 col­lab­o­ra­tors in 132 coun­tries, and looks at health loss from all ma­jor dis­eases, in­juries, and risk fac­tors by age, sex, and pop­u­la­tion. — AFP

KOBANI: A Kur­dish man mourns over his friend’s grave who was killed while fight­ing against Is­lamic State mil­i­tants in Raqqa, at a ceme­tery. — AP

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