Teddy Bear Hospital opens in Dubai to tackle children’s fears of doctor visits

Teddy Bear Hospital is open for six to eight-year-olds on a complimentary basis to all schools in the UAE with advance bookings.

Mohammed bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences has launched Teddy Bear Hospital, a first of its kind in Dubai and the UAE. Courtesy MBRU
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DUBAI // A teddy bear hospital has been opened to teach children about medical procedures and tackle their fears about visiting the doctor.

The “hospital” opened its doors at the Mohammed bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences and is the first of its kind in the UAE.

Children can go to the university’s Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Medical Simulation Centre, where they can have their toys “admitted” for health checks.

“Teddy Bear Hospital creates a unique educational opportunity for children across the UAE,” said the university’s Helen Henderson.

“The programme introduces children to the basics of health care through first-hand experiences where we aim to downplay the fear children experience when they go to hospitals.”

Emirati Mahra Al Shehi, 6, who shot to fame after a video of her copying a speech by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, went viral, and three other children helped open the hospital.

Their visit started with the children changing into scrubs. They then checked in their toys.

The teddy bears had CT scans, were given anaesthetic, attached to an IV drip, and given bandages as the children waited in the observation room.

The youngsters were also given the images of the CT scans and a medical report for their toys.

Teddy Bear Hospital is open to children aged 6 to 8. Schools must have advance bookings and the cost is free.

For details, visit www.mbruniversity.ac.ae.

newsdesk@thenational.ae