Category: WHO Work

Gaming is an Addiction – Determined by WHO!

Parents now have a legit reason to intervene when they find their kids becoming too obsessed with video games. Recently, WHO declared and classified gaming as an addiction. In the 11th amendment of the ICD (International Classification of Diseases), Gaming addiction has been categorized as a mental disorder.

Gaming as an addiction

Addiction tends to affect the mind of an addict in a way that addict priorities the said addiction over all other aspects of his life. Simultaneously, it becomes a compulsive behavior that is hard to give up. One can observe these peculiarities in case of drugs or alcohol.

Gaming, like an addiction, affects the human brain in a similar way where they begin to ignore other aspects of their life including family, education, personal health, professional responsibilities, and duties or even essential everyday activities (taking a shower for instance). In case of an addiction, the person finds it hard to give up even when their behavior has led to repercussions or potentially damaging incidences in their lives.

WHO has determined to regard it as an addiction or ‘gaming disorder’ when the person exhibits an extreme obsession over a period of at least 12 months. However, if the behavior shows extremities, a person would be eligible for diagnosis before a period of 12 months.

Cure to the addiction

One of the primary reasons for the inclusion of the gaming disorder in the ICD-11 was to raise awareness. Several nations had already designated gaming addiction as a severely growing mental health issue; South Korea prohibits children below the age of 16 from participating in gaming activities in the evening till 12 in the morning.

The UK and several other nations have existing clinics that help with counseling and other methods to treat the addiction. With the recognition from WHO, there will be more treatment facilities to help people with their addiction. Moreover, it raises caution among the general public about a potential threat they might be susceptible to.

How common is the gaming disorder?

Compared to the percentage of the world population that takes an interest in gaming, the number of minds severely affected is relatively low, but it is rampant enough to draw attention from WHO. The risk looms large now more than ever, and gamer must be cautious to trace any change in the pattern of their own behavior where they begin to give importance to gaming over other everyday activities. Any change in physical or psychological behavior must be duly noted and taken care of.

Gaming addiction and obsession with digital technology

WHO has identified gaming disorder as a mental condition which takes a toll on the addict’s general psychological behavior including their eating and sleeping patterns, often leading them to isolate themselves from the world outside the gaming world.

The gaming addiction is, however, not to be confused with young people’s obsession with digital technology. Digital technology is used at large to communicate with the outside world (for instance through social media) or to cultivate an interest. Gaming addiction, on the other hand, begins to sever communication with the outside world.

What is the Role of WHO in Curbing Ebola?

The outbreak of Ebola in West Africa in 2014 was declared an epidemic by WHO, and the Ebola response team played a crucial role in curbing the 2014-2016 pandemic. The response from all over the world was massive; medical professionals and researchers came together to resist the epidemic, control it in the affected areas and prevent it from spreading further.

What is known as a ‘multidisciplinary team’ was organised and used for studying and preventing the virus. Multiple steps were taken simultaneously, which were often interrelated; the measures cannot be perceived as exclusive of one another, often working simultaneously. Nevertheless, some of the central actions undertaken were as follows:

Development of isolation facilities

One of the initial steps in prevention of Ebola undertaken by WHO, was to mobilize multiple research facilities. Coordination was organized between the laboratories in Lyon, France and the local laboratories situated in Guinea, Donga, Kenema, Senegal and other regions of West Africa.

They worked to rapidly develop isolation facilities that would prevent contact between the affected patients and the natural population. Soon they were able to organist and present two mobile isolated labs which played a significant role in controlling the epidemic.

Infection prevention

This was followed by a venture where a team of physicians with expertise in preventing infections was brought together, and the team was sent to help the local doctors working in Donka Hospital, which was Guinea’s main functioning medical facility.

Later, medical units were also deployed in Liberia, AFRO and other affected areas. Experts were also sent to areas that were unaffected yet potentially under threat, to keep an eye on further developments and to be equipped for immediate response.

Structured and strategic response

The experts and medical professionals were trained beyond their specialized fields of study to make up for the shortage in man force.

While their areas of specialization included infection control, epidemic prevention, laboratory science, logistics and so on, they were further offered training in the fields of medical anthropology, the risks or possibilities of contamination, ways of social mobilization and so on. These enabled them to cope with the multifaceted problem in the absence of sufficient human labour force.

Prevention of free movement of the affected population

Despite all the measures employed to segregate and contain the affected people, the virus continued to spread to previously unaffected areas like Sierra Leone; this brought attention to the fact that the free transport and open communication between the affected and unaffected areas were continuing to host the virus, failing all safety precautions.

This led to an implementation of a “cross-border surveillance” in the “hot zone” which was the point of convergence between these areas, and certain strictures and invigilation were imposed on the free transport.

Training for prevention

WHO launched training programmers because it was imperative to bring about mass coordination. The training programmers deployed at multiple levels not only equipped medical professionals better but also educated the generation public about prevention, management, detection, and contamination.

The world came together, initiated by WHO, to fight and win the war against the Ebola virus.