The Ministry of Health and Prevention, MoHAP, announced the launch of an innovative package of healthcare services for people with Down syndrome, including the establishment of a multidisciplinary clinic at the Fujairah Hospital.
The ministry also announced 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.
The project involves effective communication between the different departments of multidisciplinary clinics, which includes all those involved in the care of children of Down syndrome, including a clinical genetic counsellor, paediatric cardiologist, ENT, hearing, speech therapy, ophthalmology, physiotherapy, and nursing, in addition to a social worker.
Dr. Youssif Al Serkal, Assistant Under-Secretary 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.'' Al Serkel pointed to 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 the Saqr Hospital in Ras Al Khaimah.
The first stage of the project is currently operational, following the successful application to 15 children in the Paediatrics Department of the Fujairah Hospital, he said and added that the project would be expanded in the coming months to include more than 110 children.
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 to 12 years, while the second phase is for adults with Down syndrome)."
"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 nearly one-third of children with the disease," she added.
The time allocated for each case was increased to 90 minutes with a paediatrician, in addition to preparing for a meeting with the social worker and the specialised nursing team, she noted.
With the first visit, the number of subsequent visits, specialised consultations, and laboratory and radiological examinations are determined to ensure that all procedures associated with appropriate health supervision for such children are completed.