Having a child diagnosed with a chronic illness is a scary and an overwhelming experience for parents. Finding the right doctors, appropriate treatment plans and becoming familiar with the new terminology can often get taxing.
However, the numerous advancements in technology have led to breakthrough treatments, with minimum risks to children, giving parents a much-needed peace of mind. Also, clinicians today are giving increasing prominence to preventative care.
In an interview with Arab Health Magazine, Dr. Amr El-Zawahry, Lead Paediatrician, King’s College Hospital London – Dubai Hills and Assistant Professor of Paediatric, Sharjah University, discussed some of the more frequent paediatric incidents seen in the UAE.
Dr. El-Zawhary’s consultation room is a big hit with the young ones who come in for a check-up! It has colourful cartoon characters plastered on the walls, and the charismatic doctor sometimes puts on a little music, videos, and gives the little ones some sweets, so that they feel comfortable.
When asked about the doubts that parents have when it comes to paediatric care, the doctor shared that they often need reassurance, instructions and education. “The hospital runs breastfeeding, obesity, nutritional, asthma, and allergy campaigns. We get mothers and their babies to come to the hospital and teach them and give instructions. For instance, we have lactation consultants to teach mothers how to feed,” he highlighted. “Another issue a parent often worries about is the nutrition and growth of the baby and if there are any defects or abnormalities. They also need to be educated about giving vitamin D, vaccination, and misuse of medication.”
Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence has started to be employed effectively in healthcare today, according to the doctor. He cited the example of cardiology, where when a murmur is heard, it be can be diagnosed immediately. Also, the hospital has a Telehealth clinic and provides services such as teleradiology. For example, if you take a CT scan or MRI, within 30 minutes the staff can connect with King’s College in London, as the two entities work together closely.
He concluded: “One of the most challenging aspects of my job is patient behaviour, are they and their families satisfied? You can be the most amazing doctor, but do you have the talent to deal with the patient? Today, a mother wants to know everything about the child. She will go to the Internet and ask questions, so a challenging part is to cultivate trust.”
Furthermore, EOS imaging, a pioneer of 2D/3D imaging and data solutions for orthopaedics, recently installed the first EOS system in the UAE, at the King’s College Hospital – Dubai Hills. The system’s Micro Dose option reportedly allows to further reduce the low dose imaging, which is beneficial for children who suffer from chronic conditions such as scoliosis and require regular X-rays for their follow-up treatment.