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Resource id #4 Physical disability adds to woes of Kutch earthquake victims - Volume 2 Issue 21: Disability News and Information Service for India

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Volume 2 Issue 21 - November 01, 2004

Physical disability adds to woes of Kutch earthquake victims

DNIS Network News - An ICMR survey reveals that physical disability is one of the major causes for rising psychological disorders among Kutch quake victims.

A four-year project funded by the Indian Council of Medical Research to study the after-effects of the devastating earthquake that had hit the state of Gujarat in 2001 has revealed shocking results. According to the report, psychiatric illnesses are on the rise in Kutch district of Gujarat.

The survey, conducted by Institute of Human Behaviour Science, highlights physical disability as one of the major causes for rising psychological disorders among the quake victims. The report states that even three years and seven months after the quake, people have still not come to terms with their loss.

"Normally, after a long period of three years, psychiatric illnesses are seen in around 15 per cent of any population hit by a major disaster. The study conducted in Kutch, however, reveals that 18-20 per cent of the population here suffer from various psychological disorders. This is alarming especially since the number of such patients is on the rise," said Dr Sanjiv Gupta, who worked as the Government psychiatrist on the project.

The field teams randomly surveyed 5,000 people from Bhuj and adjoining talukas. "We found several people suffering from mental disorders. The study revealed that they were affected by physical disability, loss of property, job and relatives. People still living in temporary shelters were the most affected," he added.

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