Never Treated Schizophrenia In Developing Countries

Article Title: Never Treated Schizophrenia In Developing Countries

Author(s): Dr. Saeed Farooq

Institute(s): Department of Psychiatry, PGMI, Lady Reading Hospital, Peshawar, Pakistan.

Journal: Journal of Pakistan Psychiatric Society, 2008, Vol. 5, No.2, p. 53-54

Correspondence Address:


One of the most significant recent developments in treatment of schizophrenia has been the early intervention for psychosis. Unacceptably long duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) has been considered as a major challenge for psychiatric services. The studies from developing countries report a DUP almost twice as long as that in developed countries; thus necessitating an action for early intervention. An even more alarming trend reported in many studies is large number of cases which remain untreated for many years, often in inhuman condition. Malik and Bokharey reported what they described as ‘human zoo’ for a group of patients which according to authors provided ‘cure’ for patients suffering from schizophrenia “ chained to the trees in the open spaces around the shrine— through the chilly winter nights and the blazing heat of summers for days, months and at times for years”. Souza et al identified 49 patients only in two months period in Darfur region of Sudan by active case findings. Some patients were in such dramatic situations as being chained to their beds. Srinavasan et al describe a cohort of 72 never-treated chronic schizophrenia patents in Chennai, India. Similar untreated cohorts are reported from china and number of other developing countries.

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