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Quiral opinion

It consists of meetings to discuss with experts, representatives of media and institutions of socio world, the annual theme on which research report focuses Quiral.


Opinión Quiral 38.2: El cambio social y la salud mental
There are many factors which have a bearing on mental health and social change is yet another to take into account. Women entering the workplace, immigrant populaces, and the spread of new communication technologies are only a few of these changes, whose impact is often not taken into account. This edition of Chiral Opinion features contributions from experts on mental health: Doctor Adolf Tobeña (Chair of Medical Psychology and Psychiatry at the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona), who was critical of the mental health policy and stressed the importance of knowing how to define problems and apply specific measures to them; and Doctor Pilar Solanes (head of the Barcelona City Council Department of Health) who explained why a city should have a mental health policy, a necessary tool for coordinating the actions of all the actors in the sector, and stressed the need to agree on a policy based on the diagnosis of a specific situation and the resources available. She stated that mental health policy “is not an end but a means, with specific measures that help to deal with measurable problems.” During the conference they, and other participants - healthcare professionals, journalists specialising medical matters and social workers, made several contributions which brought to the fore the problems they have encountered and the changes society has undergone over the last few years with an increase in unease in the populace and accompanying mental problems. Emphasis was given to the need to improve living conditions and protect the rights of and approach to people suffering a disability at a specific time of their lives, helping them return to society.

Opinión Quiral 38.1: Salud mental como factor de riesgo de otras enfermedades
Mental health is one of the major challenges faced by our health system. Mental illnesses produce changes in conduct of great diversity, which can affect the autonomy of the individual, and should be regarded in the same light as illnesses of an organic nature. However, they require a different approach which is multidisciplinary, transversal and comprehensive. Participating in this edition of Chiral Opinion were two experts in mental health: Dr Lluís San (director of Mental Health at the Parc Sanitari de Sant Joan de Déu in Barcelona), who underlined the need to destigmatize mental health and provide treatment in the same way as that provided to organic disorders, while recognising that there is still a shortage of biological markers for making a diagnosis. And Dr Cristina Molina Parrilla (director of the Directional Plan for Mental Health and Addictions at the Generalitat de Catalunya department of health), who pointed out that according to the WHO “there can be no health without mental health”. She also agreed that mental health treatment should be integrated with that of physical health. The interaction between them and the various participants in the debate, including health professionals and journalists specialising in medical matters, brought to light the need for inclusion of these patients in the workplace as a factor that would help to destigmatize their illness. Great importance was also given to the role of “expert patients” who, due to their visibility, encourage other patients to go to health centres. The development of new care models should be strengthened, support groups should be created with the help of trained expert patients, and in the future it should be possible to move treatment from a hospital environment to the community and family.

Opinión Quiral 37.2: Vacunas. Derechos y deberes del ciudadano responsable
Living in society affords citizens certain individual rights, but it also demands of them obligations and duties to be carried out for the common good. We should all benefit from health security and we should all contribute to its maintenance in order to protect both individual and collective health. Recent outbreaks of preventable diseases have sparked debate over the question of whether vaccinations should be obligatory. This latest edition of Chiral Opinion draws on the experience of two experts in vaccination: Dr Joan Guix Oliver (secretary of Catalan Public Health), who emphasised the importance of the impact of vaccines on public health and drew a distinction between vaccines which only affect an individual and those which also affect collective immunity; and Dr Carlos Rodrigo Gonzalo de Liria (head of Paediatrics at Hospital Universitario Vall d’Hebron), who pointed out that vaccination is an essential activity for the health of a population and for the continuing relationship between paediatricians and said population. Their contributions, together with those of other actors present at the debate, medical professionals and journalists specialising in health matters, suggested that doctors ought to know how to explain to the general population that risks associated with a disease are always greater than those associated with inoculation. Mention was also made of citizens’ rights regarding consenting to or refusing vaccination and the duties which, in turn, are entailed concerning solidarity and contributing to the common good.

Opinión Quiral 37.1: Vacunas. La evidencia frente a la no evidencia
The case of a child dying from diphtheria in Olot and successive outbreaks of measles in the US and Germany serve to highlight the existence of a debate on the advisability or otherwise of vaccines in different sections of society. Although within the scientific community the consensus on their usefulness is undisputed, there are several facets which deserve to be looked at more closely. Consequently, discussions are focused on their efficacy and safety, and the correct adaption of vaccination calendars. This edition of Chiral Opinion features the experience of vaccination experts Dr. Fernando A. Moraga-Llop (vice-president of the Spanish Association of Vaccinology), who provided data on the application of vaccines and the eradication of some diseases, and Dr. Magda Campins (head of the Preventative Medicine and Epidemiology at the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital), who offered reflections on the repercussions of information that is unverified or lacking scientific rigour from medical professionals. Their contributions and those from other actors attending the debate, medical professionals and journalists specialising in medical matters, highlighted the need for vaccinating the general population. Also talked about was the resurgence of anti-vaccine groups of various ideologies and interests, as a risk factor associated with the reappearance of diseases which were regarded as eradicated.

Opinión Quiral 36.2. Ébola. Enfermedades emergentes
Both the WHO and US centres for the Control and Prevention of Diseases have identified over 100 infectious diseases that affect humans. We should also remember firstly that over the last two decades more than 30 new microorganisms have been discovered, some of which are lethal. Secondly the fact that some diseases have re-emerged after long periods of inactivity, during which they were not considered a threat to public health, with a subsequent increase in their geographical spread, epidemic activity and/or seriousness. This edition of Chiral Opinion drew on the experience in their respective fields of two epidemiological experts; Doctor Andreu Segura (head of the Área de Salud Pública of the Institut d’Estudis de la Salut, IES) and Jaume Ollé (president of the ACTMON foundation). They discussed what is meant by the term emerging diseases, the alarm that may be created by the media in the general population, and concluded that the top priority is to control epidemics in their place of origin. Their experiences and opinions, of great medical and humanistic value, were discussed at the talk with an audience of scientific journalists and professionals from the fields of sanitation and health.

Opinión Quiral 36.1. Ébola. Aprendizaje a partir del brote de Ébola
The Ebola crisis in West Africa was of an unprecedented magnitude, not only because of the number of cases and deaths, but because of the duration of the outbreak and its socio-economic consequences. Although the West saw very few cases, they were enough to prompt the international community to finally decide to allocate resources to fight the epidemic. The debate generated by this subject was an exercise in self-criticism and analysis of the good and bad points of Catalonia and Spain’s response to Ebola. This edition of Chiral Opinion draws on the experience in their respective fields of two experts in epidemiology; Doctor Mireia Jané (deputy director of Vigilancia Epidemiológica of the Agència de Salut Pública de Catalunya) and Doctor Antoni Trilla (director of the Unidad de Evaluación, Apoyo y Prevención at Hospital Clínic). They explain how they managed the coordination of the Assistance Network and Hospital Clínic by establishing a system of epidemiological surveillance in Catalonia and activating protocol in suspected cases, and how to isolate suspected cases and who to contact. Their experiences were discussed with an audience of scientific journalists and professionals from the fields of sanitation and health at the talk.

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