Lack of a proper emotional environment at home can lead to conduct disorders in children

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Parents should model the behavior they wish to see in their children

New Delhi, 4 February 2019: Neglect, abuse, domestic violence, poor parental health, lack of support system, father’s alcoholism and lack of brain stimulation lower children’s growth and development at an early age, according to a largest population-based study done in Haryana. The study demonstrates how children are never too young to understand and absorb what is happening around them. Each adversity lowered the child’s growth and development by the age of 18 months, with cumulative exposure leading to developmental inequities from the start of life.

At least 250 million children under-5 years do not receive the appropriate care and support to become physically healthy, mentally alert and emotionally secure. These children – a staggering 43% of the global under-5 population – risk of nutrition, stunting and suboptimal brain development, which leads to lower learning and poor adult income.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Aggressive behavior is reinforced for a child at every point today, be it at home, school, or other areas. The message that is conveyed is violence and shouting can get things done faster and better. The fact that youngsters are in the prime of risk-taking behavior adds fuel to the fire. This is a serious issue and a possible precursor to behavioral and mental problems that may develop in a person later in life. Violence in media today is a stimulus for physiological arousal, cruel thoughts, and aggressive behavior. They trivialize violence and brutality and make winning imperative to boost self-esteem. This makes youngsters go to any lengths to get what they want. Teenagers have the tendency to take more risks than their adult counterparts. This is because of hormonal changes, poor impulse control, and also because seeking external stimulation is a biological need for them at that age.”

Conduct disorder refers to a mental health condition defined by behavior that violates the rights of others, or social norms. People with conduct disorders are a threat to others and themselves.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “While external cannot be curtailed entirely, what can be done is managing the situation at home. Parents need to serve as positive role models for children. Increasing number of nuclear families are reducing the interaction children have with their peers. Demanding jobs, the need to see their only child happy, and other factors make them fulfil all demands of their children. Vigilance is the key. Parents need to understand that their kids need their time. They should understand what is bothering their child. Ensuring these can help children grow into emotionally secure human beings.”

Here are some tips to prevent aggressive behavior in children.

  • Set limits and be firm and consistent about them.
  • Act when you notice the very first signs of aggressive behavior.
  • Encourage your child to express their feelings and talk about them.
  • Avoid encouraging aggression as a sign of toughness, especially in boys.
  • Control your own temper and remember that hitting the child will only serve as a bad example.

Budgetary allocation for health in the budget this year: The ups and downs

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The total budget for health has been increased this year and is the highest in the last two financial years. With Rs 61,398 crore allocated for 2019-20, this is a 16% increase over the Rs 52,800 crore in the current financial year (2018-19).

As expected, the Ayushman Bharat scheme gets a major share of this.

Rs. 6,400 crore has been set aside for the Ayushman Bharat scheme for 2019-20. Of this, Rs. 250 crores are for setting up Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres under the National Urban Health Mission and Rs. 1350 crore are for the Health and Wellness Centres under the National Rural Health Mission.

The allocation for National Health Mission for 2019-20 increased to Rs 31,745 crore.

Some national health programs have benefited.

  • The allocation for the National AIDS and STD Control Programme has been increased by Rs. 575 crore and it now stands at Rs. 2,500 crore vs Rs. 1,925 crore in the last budget. Is this justified?
  • Allocation for the National Programme for Health Care for the Elderly increased from Rs. 80 crore to Rs. 105 crore. The same should have been more.

Some national health programs had their budget cut back this year.

  • The National Mental Health Programme budget was reduced to Rs 40 crore this year as opposed to Rs 50 crore last year. What is the reason?
  • The budgetary allocation for the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke was reduced to Rs 175 crore from Rs 295 crore. This should have been doubled.
  • Allocation to the Tobacco Control Programme and Drug Deaddiction Programme was Rs. 65 crores, a decline by Rs. 2 crore.
  • The allocation of immunization or vaccination programme was cut 7% to Rs 6758.46 crore. This also should have been doubled with all vaccines given free to all.

India continues to have the highest burden of both TB and MDR TB patients and accounts for about a quarter of the global TB burden.

A suitable budget should be allocated to eradicate TB from the country. The treatment to all should be made free of cost and be available only through the government.

(Source: NDTV, Economic Times, India Today)

Dr KK Aggarwal

Padma Shri Awardee

President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania   (CMAAO)

Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications

President Heart Care Foundation of India

Past National President IMA