Fujairah, 3rd Aug 2019: The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) announced the launch of an innovative package of health care services for people with Down Syndrome, including the establishment of a multidisciplinary clinic at the Fujairah Hospital and the establishment of an electronic health surveillance unit for people with Down Syndrome, in line with the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Medical Genetics.
This comes in pursuance of the government's efforts to develop health services for people with determination, including Down syndrome patients.
The project involves effective communication between the different departments of multidisciplinary clinics, which include all those involved in the care of Down Syndrome children, including the clinical genetic counselor, pediatric cardiologist, ENT, hearing, speech therapy, ophthalmology, physiotherapy, nursing, in addition to a social worker.
Qualitative Transformation in the Healthcare Field
H.E. Dr. Youssif Al Serkal, Assistant Undersecretary for the Ministry's Hospitals Sector, said: “This unique service is seen as a qualitative transformation in the healthcare approach, through the Down Syndrome Clinic, which provides high-quality control in a patient-friendly environment.
The clinics are supervised by pediatricians and the involvement of a social worker specialized in mental and emotional health to motivate children to unleash their full potentials.
Al Serkal went on saying: “MoHAP is steadily moving towards an unprecedented shift in healthcare delivery and further improving the therapeutic journey for patients, especially Down Syndrome children, as a prelude to a new era of innovation-based smart healthcare. We have laid solid foundations for our strategy, which is in line with the latest international practices, in terms of providing the best comprehensive and innovative healthcare services and building quality and safety for therapeutic, healthcare and pharmaceutical systems.”
110 Children Benefitted from the Project
He pointed to the importance of the inclusion of a special electronic unit for the treatment of patients with Down Syndrome, which was provided at Fujairah Hospital, Al Qasimi Hospital for, Women and Children and Saqr Hospital in Ras Al Khaimah.
He pointed out that the first stage of the project is currently operational, following the successful application to 15 children with Down syndrome of in Pediatrics Department of Fujairah Hospital, adding that the project will be expanded in the coming months to include more than 110 children.
Al Serkal emphasized the importance of empowering those with Down Syndrome, promoting early intervention programs to integrate them, develop their capacities, rehabilitate them to interact with the community and provide appropriate health care, to prevent them from having any medical complications.
Two Phases and a Periodic Schedule of Visits
Dr. Kalthoum Al Baloushi, Director of MoHAP's Hospitals Administration, said: “The project is divided into two phases, the first phase (from birth to 3 years, and 4-12 years, while the second phase is for adults with Down syndrome).”
She added: “This project has contributed to early monitoring and thus rapid diagnosis, accompanying sub-symptoms, as well as a rapid screening of major Down syndrome-related diseases, including congenital heart defects found in about one-third of children with the disease.”
She noted that the time allocated for each case of Down syndrome increased to 90 minutes with a pediatrician, in addition to preparing for a meeting with the social worker and the specialized nursing team.
With the first visit, the number of subsequent visits, specialized consultations, and laboratory and radiological examination are determined to ensure that all procedures associated with appropriate health supervision for children with Down syndrome are completed.