ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) on the eve of “World Health Day” vowed to take part in the national crusade by providing academic input in addressing health hazards and combating fatal diseases.
The university will especially focus on conducting special research on lethal diseases like `Depression’ that was the theme of World Health Day campaign this year, this was decided at a meeting held here Friday to review the on-going academic activities, relating to health and nitration.
Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Shahid Siddique who presided over the meeting said that socio and community-based issues needed special attention at all levels including academia.
The AIOU, being the mega educational institution in the public sector will fulfill its obligations towards the peoples, helping them to have a healthy life.
He pointed that necessary changes were being incorporated in the University’s existing curriculum to enable the students and the researchers to understand and project the basic requirements of getting rid of serious diseases like depression.
Dr Siddiqui further said a number of research-based studies were conducted at MS and PhD level in recent years to create and disseminate knowledge relating to health and nitration.
According to Dr Nomana Anjum, chairperson of AIOU’s Home and Health Science Department, they were working on plan to create awareness about hazards of sedentary life-style and the prevailing abnormal environment that lead to depression and as well as many other mental problems.
Depression affects people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries. It causes mental anguish and impacts on people’s ability to carry out even the simplest everyday tasks. It is therefore imperative to educate the people about the preventive measures.
The AIOU has recently developed a design, through a research study, to expand outdoor spaces in the twin cities for physical activities of adolescent school girls.
The proposed design suggested ways and means to improve safety, security, accessibility, comfort and provision of the facilities in specific parks and playgrounds of schools and colleges in Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
According to a research-study conducted by a University’s Faculty member, depression is clearly associated with a poor prognosis and more rapid progression of chronic illnesses including ischemic heart disease and diabetes.
A research was also done on “Comparative analysis of mental stress and related risk factors among newly diagnosed diabetic patients and it was found that 97% of patients were suffering from some level of mental stress.
The Department of Home and Health Sciences is also actively involved on other health and depression related researches such as studies are being conducted on role of antioxidants in the management of Schizophrenia, role of omega-3 in the management of major depressive disorders and vitamin D status in relation to depression, anxiety & stress.
A research was also been conducted on evaluation of spatial design of emergency department-A case of capital Hospital, which showed that depression is also closely associated with built environment as well.