Khalid Saeed

Regional Advisor
Mental Health and Substance Abuse
Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean of WHO

Dr Saeed is a consultant psychiatrist of more than 25 years standing, currently working as Regional advisor, Mental Health and Substance Abuse at the regional office for the Eastern Mediterranean of WHO.

Dr Saeed was previously working as associate Professor at the Institute of Psychiatry, WHO Collaborating Centre mental health and substance abuse at Rawalpindi, Pakistan and the deputy Programme Manager for the National mental health programme.

He is currently coordinating the work on mental health and psychosocial support in emergencies in the region besides leading the work on scaling up mental health and strengthening public health response to the substance use problem in the region.

He has also extensive experience of evaluation and setting up of mental health policies, legislations treatment systems and services in countries of Eastern Mediterranean region.


Short Description of the Lectures

1. Regional Situation of Autism: Services, Capacities and Gaps

Developmental disorders are a group of lifelong conditions with onset in infancy or childhood, characterized by impairment or delay in functions related to the central nervous system maturation. Most affected children and families live in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), but services have proven inversely proportional to a country’s income (WHO, 2007) with a treatment gap of at least 80% in LMICs (Kieling, 2011). Several evidence reviews suggest that parents can learn the skills necessary to deliver evidence-based therapies to their children with developmental disorders and that children benefit from these interventions (McConachie, 2007; Odom, 2010). The WHO mhGAP Intervention Guide for non-specialist service providers recommends parent training for management of developmental disorders when available. For this reason, WHO and international partners, undertook a collaborative process to make available a parent education program that can be delivered by non-specialist providers, is evidence-based and meets affordability and feasibility criteria of low-resource settings (e.g. group format, low- intensity and duration). The program targets caregivers of 2-9-year-old children with a developmental delay or disorder. The CST programme consists of a combination of 9 group sessions and 3 individual home-visits that address strategies to engage children in communication, play and home routines and promote adaptive behaviours and learning. It can be delivered by a range of non-specialist providers, including social workers, community volunteers, community-based rehabilitation workers, nurses, primary care doctors, teachers, and peer caregivers/parents, in community-based facilities or schools. The CST package includes a planning guide, adaptation and implementation guide facilitator guides, participant booklets, monitoring & evaluation framework and training and supervision materials. While the program is based on the best available evidence and on the expert opinion of parents, researchers and professionals in the field, there is a need to demonstrate that the program meets caregivers’ needs and is tailored to effective in improving caregivers’ competences and children’s behavior and adaptive skills when implemented in a variety of different contexts and integrated into available community resources, including in low-resource settings.