Head of Amnesty International to Speak at NUI Galway

Head of Amnesty International to Speak at NUI Galway-image

Thursday, 18 September 2008

The head of Amnesty International, Ms Irene Zubaida Khan, will deliver a public lecture at NUI Galway on Wednesday, 17 September, at 2.15pm in the Aula Maxima. Ms Khan was appointed Secretary General of Amnesty International in 2001, becoming the first woman, Asian and Muslim to lead the human rights organisation. Her lecture will be entitled 'At sixty, is it time for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to retire?'. Ms Khan has broadened the work of Amnesty International in areas of economic, social and cultural rights. She has led high level missions to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Israel/Occupied Territories, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, Spain, Thailand, the Darfur region of Sudan, and Nepal. Deeply concerned about women's human rights, she initiated a process of consultations with women activists to design a global campaign by Amnesty International against violence on women, which was launched in March 2004. The event is being hosted by the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway. Dr Kathleen Cavanaugh, a lecturer with the Centre, says Ms Khan is an inspiring individual: "She brings with her a wealth of experience, both personal and professional, which has helped to shape and direct the movement. There are huge challenges facing the human rights regime in the wake of the so-called 'war on terror'. Despite early criticisms, Irene was steadfast in her arguments that international civil society must not be consumed by the politics of fear, and she has led Amnesty's efforts to recapture this human rights versus security debate". In 1980, Ms Khan joined the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and worked in a variety of positions at Headquarters and in field operations to promote the international protection of refugees. From 1991 to 1995 she was Senior Executive Officer to Mrs. Sadako Ogata, then UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Appointed as the UNHCR Chief of Mission in India in 1995, Ms Khan was the youngest country representative at that time, and in 1998 headed the UNHCR Centre for Research and Documentation. She led the UNHCR team in Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia during the Kosovo crisis in 1999, and was appointed Deputy Director of International Protection later that year. Ms Khan studied law at the University of Manchester and Harvard Law School, specialising in public international law and human rights. She is the recipient of several academic awards, a Ford Foundation Fellowship, the 2006 City of Sydney Peace Prize, the Pilkington 'Woman of the Year' Award 2002, and the John Owens Distinguished Alumni Award of the University of Manchester. She has been awarded honorary doctorates by Ferris University (Japan) and Staffordshire University (UK). Ms Khan has been voted one of the 100 Most Influential Asians and one of the 100 Most Influential Muslims in the UK. -ends-

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Pharmaceutical and Biotech Expert Joins NUI Galway Technology Transfer Office

Pharmaceutical and Biotech Expert Joins NUI Galway Technology Transfer Office-image

Monday, 15 September 2008

Pharmaceutical and biotech business leader, Dr John Kavanagh, has taken over as NUI Galway's Director of Technology Transfer. He will work with the University's Ignite Technology Transfer Office to commercialise and license the work of researchers on campus. Dr Kavanagh will also further develop the University's partnerships with industry and the business community. Dr Kavanagh joins NUI Galway from Bioniche Teoranta, a company based in Inverin, Co. Galway, specialising in sterile injectables, where he was Managing Director for five years. Previously, he occupied senior positions at Abbott Laboratories, Sandoz/Novartis and Schering-Plough. Speaking about his new role, Dr Kavanagh said: "NUI Galway was the first University in Ireland to create a dedicated technology transfer office. I look forward to building on the excellent work that has already taken place." He added: "Never more so, than when there is an economic downturn, does the entrepreneurial approach to business need to be nurtured. The University, with its world-leading research and strong industry partnerships is well positioned to continue its technology commercialisation success." So far this year, the University's Ignite Technology Transfer Office has filed 42 invention disclosures, 15 patents and licensed six technologies to industry. Professor Terry Smith, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway, welcomed Dr Kavanagh to the University: "John brings with him a wealth of experience in all aspects of technology transfer and the commercialisation of research. He will, no doubt, lead the further development and growth of the Ignite Technology Transfer Office in the coming years." Originally from Dublin, Dr Kavanagh is a graduate of UCD, having completed a B.Sc. degree in Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry. He also holds a Diploma in Applied Finance from the Irish Management Institute. -ends-

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NUI Galway Issues Call for Entries to Schools Science Competition

NUI Galway Issues Call for Entries to Schools Science Competition-image

Monday, 15 September 2008

The Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway has issued a call to secondary schools for entries to its fourth annual Schools' Science Essay Competition 2008. Sponsored by Galway-based medical technology company Medtronic, essays are invited on the topic 'Boundaries of Science – is there anything we should not do?'. The competition is open to all students in the senior cycle of secondary schools in the Republic of Ireland and also, for the first time, schools in Northern Ireland. Closing date for receipt of entries is Friday, 31 October, 2008. REMEDI's Schools' Science Essay Competition was launched in 2005 to stimulate discussion among students on the ethical and societal implications of advances in biomedical research. Competition prizes include a laptop, iPOD, crystal trophies and school prizes of science equipment bursaries. Prizes will be presented at the BT Young Scientist Festival in January of 2009. Last year, Catherine Duane of Holy Faith Secondary School, Clontarf, Dublin took the top prize. Professor Tim O'Brien, Director of REMEDI, explained the motivation for the competition: "The purpose of this project, as with all our secondary school initiatives, is to encourage young people to take an active interest in contemporary scientific research, and to consider a career in this field. Science communication should always be a two way process. While it is important for REMEDI to publicly discuss research taking place in the areas of stem cell and gene therapy, it is equally important for our scientists to listen to the public's views on this research. We have found 16-18 year-olds are more than eager to express their views on some of the questions raised by this research." Noreen Moloney, R&D New Technologies Manager at Medtronic, said: "Exciting our young people about science and engineering is crucial. Giving them the hunger, skills and confidence to tackle the next generation of scientific and technological unknowns is a key challenge. Scientific and engineering knowledge will be the drivers of our future prosperity and I strongly believe that the sponsorship of the REMEDI national essay competition is an excellent initiative which helps promote interest in science among students." Full details of the competition rules, helpful hints and additional information on how to enter are available on the education section of the REMEDI website www.remedi.ie. REMEDI is an SFI funded research institute at the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science located at NUI Galway. -ends-

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Fáil ag Mic Léinn OÉ Gaillimh ar na hEalaíona Cruthaitheacha

Fáil ag Mic Léinn OÉ Gaillimh ar na hEalaíona Cruthaitheacha-image

Monday, 15 September 2008

Beidh fáil níos éasca ag mic léinn OÉ Gaillimh ar na healaíona cruthaitheacha ó seolfar clár na nEalaíon Cruthaitheach 2008-2009. Seo an tríú bliain a bhfuil an clár á reáchtáil. Tá an clár deartha go háirithe d'fhochéimithe agus eagrófar imeachtaí agus léirithe Drámaíochta Idirnáisiúnta, Scannán, Ceoil Chlasaicigh, Rince, Ealaíon Traidisiúnta, Amharcealaíon agus Litríochta Gaeilge mar chuid de. Tríd an gclár Ealaíon Cruthaitheach, beidh deis ag mic léinn freastal ar léirithe agus plé leis na healaíontóirí a bheidh rannpháirteach iontu. Tá ainmneacha cáiliúla ar an gclár, ina measc na ceoltóirí Frankie Gavin agus Máirtín O'Connor, na haisteoirí Bríd Ní Neachtain agus Mick Lally, agus an téadcheathairéad clasaiceach ón Rómáin ConTempo. Ar an gclár chomh maith tá an ensemble clasaiceach idirnáisiúnta Gatto Marte agus an Now Dance Company as an gCóiré. I measc na n-imeachtaí drámaíochta atá ar an gclár tá léiriú de The Cripple of Inishmaan le Martin McDonagh, á stiúradh ag Garry Hynes agus an chéad léiriúchán riamh de dhráma Marina Carr, Marble, in Amharclann na Mainistreach. Deir Mary McPartlan, Stiúrthóir an chláir Ealaíon Cruthaitheach in OÉ Gaillimh: "Cuireann an clár nua rogha deiseanna ar fáil le taithí a fháil ar ealaíona d'ardchaighdeán trína mbuailfidh mic léinn le healaíontóirí gairmiúla oilte i ngach réimse ealaíon. Tá sé de chuspóir aige saibhriú a dhéanamh ar a saol siúd uile a bheidh rannpháirteach ann agus intinn agus samhlaíocht na mac léinn a chothú." Chomh maith le léirithe ealaíonta, tá seisiún eolais ar an gclár maidir le deiseanna iarchéime le Scoil Scannán & Meán Digiteach Huston na hOllscoile. Deir an tOllamh Kevin Barry, Déan Choláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh go gcuireann an clár leis an taithí ar shaol an mhic léinn: "Is cuid thábhachtach den oideachas in OÉ Gaillimh iad na healaíona cruthaitheacha, agus is cuid lárnach iad chomh maith de chroí cultúrtha na Cathrach. Déanann an clár Ealaíon Cruthaitheach, tríd an tacaíocht leanúnach ó lucht gairmiúil na n-ealaíon, saibhriú ar an gcuraclam do mhic léinn. Táimid ag cur deiseanna ar fáil chomh maith dár mic léinn le dul leis na tionscail chruthaitheacha amach anseo." Cuirfear tús leis an gclár an 25 Meán Fómhair in Amharclann na Cathrach, Gaillimh nuair a léireoidh Compántas Amharclainne Druid The Cripple of Inishmaan, a bheidh á stiúradh ag Garry Hynes. - críoch -

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Access to Creative Arts for NUI Galway Students

Access to Creative Arts for NUI Galway Students-image

Monday, 15 September 2008

Students at NUI Galway will continue to have greater access to the creative arts with the launch of the 2008-2009 Arts in Action programme. Now in its third year, the programme is specially designed for undergraduate students and includes events and performances in International Theatre, Film, Classical Music, Dance, Traditional Arts, Visual Arts and Irish Language Literature. Through the Arts in Action programme, students will have the opportunity to attend performances and interact with the artists involved. Events feature well known names such as musicians Frankie Gavin and Máirtín O'Connor, actors Bríd Ní Neachtain and Mick Lally, and the Romanian classical string quartet ConTempo. The programme also includes the international classical ensemble Gatto Marte and the Now Dance Company from Korea. Theatre events feature the Druid production of The Cripple of Inishmann by Martin McDonagh, directed by Garry Hynes and a world premiere of the Marina Carr play Marble at the Abbey Theatre. Mary McPartlan, Director of the Arts in Action programme at NUI Galway, said: "The new programme offers a series of quality arts experiences stimulating encounters between students and skilled professional artists of all disciplines. The aim is to enrich the lives of all involved and nurture the minds and imaginations of the students." As well as artistic performances, the programme also includes an information session on postgraduate opportunities with the University's Huston School of Film & Digital Media. Professor Kevin Barry, Dean Arts at NUI Galway, says the programme adds to the student experience: "Creative arts are an important part of education at NUI Galway. The Arts in Action programme, through continued support from professionals within the arts world, enriches the curriculum for students. We are also opening up the possibilities of a future in the creative industries among our students." The programme commences on Thursday, 25 September, at the Town Hall Theatre, Galway with the Druid Theatre Company Production of The Cripple of Inishmann, directed by Garry Hynes. -ends-

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Saineolaí Cógaisíochta agus Biteicneolaíochta Ceaptha san Oifig um Aistriú Teicn

Saineolaí Cógaisíochta agus Biteicneolaíochta Ceaptha san Oifig um Aistriú Teicn-image

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Tá an ceannaire cógaisíochta agus biteicneolaíochta gnó, an Dr John Kavanagh, ceaptha mar Stiúrthóir um Aistriú Teicneolaíochta OÉ Gaillimh. Is ag obair in Oifig um Aistriú Teicneolaíochta Ignite a bheidh an Dr Kavanagh agus é de dhualgas air an obair atá ar bun ag taighdeoirí na hOllscoile a thráchtálú agus a cheadúnú. Lena chois sin, tá sé mar aidhm ag an Dr Kavanagh comhpháirtíochtaí tionsclaíocha agus gnó na hOllscoile a fhorbairt. Roimhe seo bhí an Dr Kavanagh ag obair mar Stiúrthóir Bainistíochta i Bioniche Teoranta – atá lonnaithe in Indreabhán, Co. na Gaillimhe – cuideachta a tháirgeann ábhar steiriúil insteallta. Roimhe sin, bhí poist shinsearacha aige in Abbott Laboratories, Sandoz/Novartis agus Schering-Plough. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Dr Kavanagh agus é ag trácht ar a ról nua: "Is í OÉ Gaillimh an chéad Ollscoil in Éirinn a bhunaigh oifig atá dírithe go hiomlán ar aistriú teicneolaíochta. Táim ag tnúth le cur leis an obair iontach atá déanta ag an Oifig seo cheana féin." Chomh maith leis sin, dúirt sé: "Baineann fíorthábhacht le gníomhaíocht fiontraíochta a chur chun cinn nuair a bhíonn cor chun donais sa gheilleagar. Tá seasamh maith ag an Ollscoil, bunaithe ar thaighde den chéad scoth agus comhpháirtíochtaí maithe tionsclaíocha, leanúint leis an bpróiseas atá mar bhunús lena rath i dtéarmaí tráchtálaithe teicneolaíochta." Cheana féin i mbliana, tá 42 nochtadh idirghabhála comhdaithe ag Oifig um Aistriú Teicneolaíochta Ignite na hOllscoile, tá 15 paitinn comhdaithe aici agus tá sé theicneolaíocht curtha ar ceadúnas aici leis an tionscal. D'fháiltigh an tOllamh Terry Smith, Leas-Uachtarán um Thaighde in OÉ Gaillimh, roimh an Dr Kavanagh: "Tá an-taithí ag John ar aistriú teicneolaíochta agus ar thráchtálú taighde. Táim cinnte go gcuirfidh sé le fás agus le forbairt Oifig um Aistriú Teicneolaíochta Ignite sna blianta beaga amach romhainn." Is de bhunadh Bhaile Átha Cliath é an Dr Kavanagh. D'fhreastail sé ar Choláiste na hOllscoile, Baile Átha Cliath áit a ndearna sé B.Sc. sa Cheimic agus Ph.D. sa Cheimic Orgánach. Chomh maith leis sin, bhronn Foras Bainistíochta na hÉireann Dioplóma san Airgeadas Feidhmeach air. - críoch -

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NUI Galway to Celebrate Volunteering with Annual Fair on 22 September

NUI Galway to Celebrate Volunteering with Annual Fair on 22 September-image

Friday, 12 September 2008

Record numbers of over 2,000 students are expected to attend the NUI Galway Volunteering Fair on Monday, 22 September. The annual event, now in its seventh year, will have 60 charities and community organisations showcase the wide range of volunteer opportunities available for students. The Fair will signal the start of a week-long celebration of volunteering at NUI Galway, the culmination of which will coincide with the national volunteering 'Give it a Swirl' day on Friday, 26 September. Exhibitors at the Volunteer Fair will include: Rehab Care; Habitat for Humanity; Down Syndrome Ireland; Childline; Galway Refugee Support Group; Simon Community; Enable Ireland; and Positive Mental Health. The Fair will be officially opened by Mayor of Galway City, Councillor Pádraig Conneely and members of the general public are also welcome to attend. The event is part of the University's ALIVE Volunteering Programme which aims to support and promote volunteering on campus. Last year, over 1,300 students registered with ALIVE. Lorraine Tansey is Volunteer Coordinator of the ALIVE Programme at NUI Galway: "Volunteering comes in many forms, whether it its running homework clubs in local schools, fundraising for national charities, befriending people with a disability, or volunteering abroad. Students can volunteer as much or as little time as they can spare and they benefit enormously from getting involved. Our Community Partners really value the enthusiasm and flexibility they bring. The Fair is just one way to harness and encourage this ongoing civic commitment." Through the ALIVE programme, students at NUI Galway can access an online database of volunteer opportunities. The programme also includes a series of workshops to help students make the most of their volunteering experience. At the end of the academic year students can apply for an ALIVE Certificate which is awarded at a special ceremony in recognition of their commitment to volunteering. The Volunteering Fair takes place on campus in Áras na Mac Léinn, from 1-5pm. For further information, please contact the ALIVE office on 091 493823 or email cki@nuigalway.ie. -ends-

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Aonach Bliantúil OÉ Gaillimh le Ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar Spiorad na hOibre Deona

Aonach Bliantúil OÉ Gaillimh le Ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar Spiorad na hOibre Deona-image

Friday, 12 September 2008

Táthar ag súil le líon níos mó ná riamh – breis is 2,000 mac léinn – ag Aonach Obair Dheonach OÉ Gaillimh a bheidh ar siúl Dé Luain, an 22 Meán Fómhair. Is é seo an seachtú bliain as a chéile an t-imeacht bliantúil seo á eagrú, agus beidh os cionn 60 cumann carthanachta agus pobail i láthair ar an lá le léargas a thabhairt ar na deiseanna éagsúla atá ar fáil do mhic léinn tabhairt faoi obair dheonach. Beidh an tAonach ar siúl ag tús na seachtaine chun ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar na deiseanna atá ar fáil in OÉ Gaillimh obair dheonach a dhéanamh, agus cuirfear críoch le himeachtaí na seachtaine le lá náisiúnta obair dheonach ar a dtugtar 'Give it a Swirl' a bheidh ar siúl Dé hAoine, an 26 Meán Fómhair. I measc na gcumann a bheidh i láthair ag an Aonach beidh: Rehab Care; Habitat for Humanity; Down Syndrome Ireland; Childline; Galway Refugee Support Group; Simon Community; Enable Ireland; agus Positive Mental Health. Is é Méara Chathair na Gaillimhe, an Comhairleoir Pádraig Conneely a osclóidh an tAonach go hoifigiúil, agus beidh fáilte roimh chách teacht chuig an imeacht. Tá an t-imeacht seo á eagrú mar chuid de Chlár Obair Dheonach ALIVE – clár a bhfuil sé mar aidhm leis tacú le hobair dheonach ar an gcampas agus a leithéid a chur chun cinn. Anuraidh, chláraigh de bhreis ar 1,300 mac léinn le ALIVE. Is í Lorraine Tansey Comhordaitheoir an Chláir ALIVE in OÉ Gaillimh: "Is iomaí cineál obair dheonach is féidir a dhéanamh – clubanna obair bhaile a eagrú i scoileanna áitiúla, airgead a bhailiú do charthanachtaí náisiúnta, cabhrú le daoine atá faoi mhíchumas, nó obair dheonach a dhéanamh thar lear. Féadfaidh mic léinn an méid ama a thograíonn siad féin a chaitheamh i mbun obair dheonach agus is iondúil go mbaineann siad fíorthairbhe as obair dheonach a dhéanamh. Is mór an meas atá ag ár gComhpháirtithe Pobail ar an bhfonn oibre agus spéis a léiríonn na hoibrithe deonacha. Níl san Aonach seo ach bealach amháin chun an tiomantas leanúnach seo do chomhpháirteachas poiblí a chothú agus a spreagadh." Trí chlár ALIVE, féadfaidh mic léinn OÉ Gaillimh rochtain a fháil ar bhunachar sonraí ar líne ina bhfuil neart deiseanna chun obair dheonach a dhéanamh liostaithe. Gné eile den chlár é sraith ceardlann a eagraítear le cabhrú le mic léinn an leas is fearr agus is féidir a bhaint as an obair dheonach a dhéanann siad. Ag deireadh na bliana acadúla féadfaidh mic léinn iarratas a dhéanamh Teastas ALIVE a fháil. Bronntar an teastas seo ag searmanas speisialta a eagraítear mar aitheantas ar a dtiomantas don obair dheonach. Beidh an tAonach Obair Dheonach ar siúl ar champas OÉ Gaillimh in Áras na Mac Léinn ó 1-5pm. Má theastaíonn tuilleadh eolais uait ba cheart duit teagmháil a dhéanamh leis an Oifig ALIVE ag 091 493823 nó ríomhphost a sheoladh chuig cki@nuigalway.ie. - críoch -

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NUI Galway's Raindrop Research to Inform Climate Change Predictions

NUI Galway's Raindrop Research to Inform Climate Change Predictions-image

Thursday, 11 September 2008

An NUI Galway climate researcher has made a major breakthrough in understanding the effect of air pollution and climate change on precipitation. Dr Colin O'Dowd and a team of leading international experts propose a new theory explaining why atmospheric aerosol pollution plays a dichotomous role in increasing and suppressing rainfall under different levels of pollution. Their results are essential to providing an improved understanding of how air pollution and climate change will influence flood and drought patterns in the future. The high-profile article 'Flood or Drought: How do Aerosols Affect Precipitation?' was published in the latest edition of the international journal, Science. The article explains how, in order for clouds to form, there must be sufficient water vapour in the atmosphere to produce supersaturated vapour fields, and there must be nuclei for the vapour to condense on in order to form cloud droplets. Water vapour primarily comes from water evaporation at the Earth's surface, while the nuclei come from atmospheric aerosol particles. In clean clouds with low nuclei availability, the cloud droplets formed are large and coalesce into raindrops that readily rain out. However, this study points out that in polluted convective clouds, where cloud droplets are smaller, they do not precipitate out until they reach altitudes above the atmosphere's freezing level. At that stage the droplets freeze into ice precipitation that then falls and melts, releasing latent heat upward and reabsorbsing heat at lower levels. The result is a greater upward transport of heat for the same amount of surface precipitation. This causes invigoration of the convective clouds, leading to additional rainfall despite the slower conversion rate of cloud droplets into rain drops. According to Dr O'Dowd, Director of the Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies at NUI Galway's Environmental Change Institute and Senior Lecturer with the School of Physics, "What this research shows, in very simple terms, is that air pollution not only dramatically effects the type of rain that falls but ultimately how much and where. The smaller type of raindrop being formed when pollution is a factor effectively 'heats up' the cloud system leading to changing weather patterns. This research will lead to a better understanding of and predictions regarding climate change". The scientific article 'Flood or Drought: How do Aerosols Affect Precipitation?' looks at how, as the level of aerosol pollution increases above a critical threshold, aerosol components absorb sufficient incoming solar radiation to warm and stabilize the troposphere. This inhibits convection of cloud parcels, and reduces the amount of energy absorbed at the Earth's surface, thus reducing the release of water vapour. O'Dowd adds, "The net result is that in the most polluted areas, precipitation, and even convective clouds, may not form at all. Given that about 37% of the energy put into the atmosphere by the Earth is as water vapour, this must be balanced by the amount of precipitation returning to the surface. Therefore, disturbance of this balance in one region must be compensated for in another, leading to changes in precipitation patterns." In their study, O'Dowd and colleagues introduce the above phenomena as an aerosol thermodynamic forcing which does not necessarily change the net energy budget, but redistributes it internally. The study highlights the importance of taking account of the aerosol thermodynamic forcing in climate models in order to better predict changes to the hydrological cycle associated with air quality and climate change. O'Dowd and his co-authors comprise the Steering Group developing the international project on Aerosols-Clouds-Precipitation and Climate (ACPC). ACPC is a joint International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme - World Climate Research Programme (IGBP-WCRP) project. O'Dowd represents two IGBP sub programmes on ACPC, namely the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC) programme, and Surface Ocean Lower Atmospheres Studies (SOLAS) programme. -ends-

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Economic Cost of Schizophrenia Estimated at Over €460 Million

Economic Cost of Schizophrenia Estimated at Over €460 Million-image

Thursday, 11 September 2008

The economic cost of schizophrenia in Ireland has been estimated at over €460 million for 2006 in an article published today in the Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine. This is the first attempt to estimate the economic cost of schizophrenia which affects over 10,000 people in Ireland in any year. The relatively high cost of schizophrenia stands in stark contrast to the relatively low level of resources devoted to mental health care in Ireland. The authors of the article, Dr. Caragh Behan, DETECT, Mr. Brendan Kennelly, NUI Galway and Professor Eadbhard O'Callaghan, UCD, included both direct and indirect costs in their analysis. Direct costs, which refer to the cost of resources used in the treatment of schizophrenia such as inpatient and outpatient care, medication, and community services, were estimated at over €118 million. Indirect costs, which refer to the loss of productivity due to unemployment, absence from work and premature mortality were estimated at over €343 million in 2006. Informal care provided by family members accounted for almost €44 million. Commenting on the results Brendan Kennelly, of the Department of Economics at NUI Galway, said: "While schizophrenia is not a very common condition, it is a very expensive one. This is attributable to a number of factors – the relatively young age when schizophrenia typically affects a person, the high mortality rate associated with the condition, and the very low employment rates for people with schizophrenia." Cost-of-illness studies, which have been widely used for over thirty years, provide very useful information on the burden of an illness and are a useful analytical tool in determining where resources should be employed. Professor Eadbhard O'Callaghan of the School of Medicine, University College Dublin, said that the results highlight the important role that family members play in providing informal care to people with schizophrenia. He added that more effort should be made to improve employment opportunities for people with schizophrenia such as supported employment schemes. Professor O'Callaghan said that in other countries more resources are being devoted to the early detection of schizophrenia because, with the appropriate help, people can and do recover. -ends-

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