AL AIN // Hospitals can be frightening places, especially for youngsters. To help make a visit to the doctor a more pleasant experience, dedicated children’s healthcare centres are being launched around Abu Dhabi.
The first has opened its doors at Al Towayya Children’s Specialty Centre in Al Ain, operated by Abu Dhabi health services company SEHA.
“Hospitals serve the community as a whole, so they are not geared specifically towards children,” said Dr Mariam Buti Al Mazrouei, acting chief executive officer at Ambulatory Healthcare Services (AHS) a SEHA health facility .
“By providing specialty services in a friendly environment, the experience of visiting the doctor becomes a more pleasant one for both the child and the parent.”
In addition to general paediatric services, the centre also offers immunology and allergy, infectious diseases, dermatology, nephrology, ophthalmology, ear nose and throat, neurology, asthma care, endocrinology, gastroenterology, psychiatry, psychology, surgery and dentistry services. There is also a Down’s Syndrome clinic.
The centre has been met with enthusiasm by Al Ain residents, with more than 5,900 patients being treated since it opened on January 3.
“The community is delighted to have such specialty services close to them,” Dr Al Mazrouei said. “The volumes were so high that we expanded our working hours during the week.”
The biggest challenges to children’s health in the emirate, said Dr Al Mazrouei, are obesity, bronchial asthma and oral health.
“Obesity can lead to a host of complications, including diabetes, heart disease and many other conditions.
“That is why it is critical for parents to instil the values of leading a healthy lifestyle in their children from a young age, because prevention is better than cure.”
The centre also runs a Well Child programme, a preventive care initiative designed to ensure the health and wellbeing of youngsters by making they receive the recommended screening and care from birth until six years of age.
“My advice to parents is to follow up with a family doctor who will be aware of their family history and who will ensure that your child’s health is monitored and all preventative measures are taken.”
Al Towayya Children’s Specialty Centre is open Sunday to Thursday from 7am to 10pm, and patients can call 80050 to book an appointment.