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Correspondence

Indian Pediatr 2015;52: 258-259

The Peshawar Peril


B Adhisivam and C Venkatesh

Department of Pediatrics, JIPMER, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, India.
Email: adhisivam1975@yahoo.co.uk
 

 

    


Hardly few weeks past the award ceremony of Nobel peace prize for a child in Pakistan and peace is in pieces by the Peshawar peril. The horrifying incidents involving school children in Peshawar, Pakistan and Beslan, Russia are quite disturbing and shaking the entire core of humanity. Children form a vulnerable population at any given point of time and during these man-made disasters, they are the worst affected [1,2]. Why should these innocent children lose their lives for no fault of theirs? Waging war against bacteria and viruses has no meaning when massacres are the order of the day. Exploring mars is pointless when these barbaric acts turn your backyards into graveyards. Terrorism is nothing but a novel way to relive the Stone Age or even darker ages earlier. Terrorism in any form against children is not acceptable and there should be a global awakening in this context.

The story of an act of terror does not end on the same day. The ripples of these events in the community and world as a whole are long-lasting and may generate untoward side effects. Post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) and disrupted family lives are usually severe and difficult for management. Just like basic life support, disaster preparedness should be made universal and should not be the headache of the affected nation alone [3]. The terrorists, and the culprits who sold them the weapons should be brought to book and penalized. Media also has a moral responsibility towards the mental wellbeing of children, and hence pictures and videos which may affect their normal milieu should not be broadcast. According to a recent meta-analysis, PTSD outcomes among children and adolescent survivors of natural and man-made disasters receiving psychological interventions were better when compared to those who did not receive any intervention [4]. Strong social support from families, teachers, and community coupled with economic resources to facilitate the family’s adaptation should be part of the psychosocial rehabilitation [5]. A social change or revolution is the need of the hour for providing children a safe environment, irrespective of nationality and religion. All children have the right to live and this should not remain in paper alone, but ensured in day to day practice. Roses should neither be nipped as buds nor soaked in blood.

References

1. Hamele M, Poss WB, Sweney J. Disaster preparedness, pediatric considerations in primary blast injury, chemical, and biological terrorism. World J Crit Care Med. 2014;3:15-23.

2. Adhisivam B, Srinivasan S, Soudarssanane MB, Deepak Amalnath S, Nirmal Kumar A. Feeding of infants and young children in tsunami affected villages in Pondicherry. Indian Pediatr. 2006; 43:724-7.

3. Pfefferbaum B, Varma V, Nitiéma P, Newman E. Universal preventive interventions for children in the context of disasters and terrorism. Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2014;23:363-82

4. Newman E, Pfefferbaum B, Kirlic N, Tett R, Nelson S, Liles B. Meta-analytic review of psychological interventions for children survivors of natural and man-made disasters. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2014;16:462.

5. The Impact of Terrorism and Disasters on Children. American Psychological Association. Available from: http://http://www.apa.org/about/gr/issues/cyf/disaster. aspx. Accessed December 29, 2014.

 

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