UAE hospital to offer specialised post-Covid recovery services to children

Rehabilitation can help kids combat 'long Covid'


Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Thu 28 Oct 2021, 12:26 PM

Amana Healthcare is extending its specialised rehabilitation programme to children as young as two years old to address the growing concern of post-Covid-19 complications — or 'long Covid' — among kids in the UAE.

Last year, the Mubadala Health partner developed the first-of-its-kind specialised post-Covid-19 rehabilitation programme to cover ICU step-down rehabilitation and ventilator weaning; specialised inpatient rehabilitation; home or tele/video rehabilitation; and specialised outpatient rehabilitation.

An assessment is conducted to determine whether all four stages of the programme are necessary, after which appropriate therapy is provided to help the patient return to pre-illness levels of function and activities.

Dr Rizwana Popatia, consultant paediatric pulmonologist and sleep medicine physician, said: “While many children experience no symptoms or mild to moderate illness and recover without treatment, there is a growing body of research showing significant numbers of children develop complications that can last several weeks or months.”

According to experimental estimates published by the UK’s Office of National Statistics in January this year, around 12.9 per cent of children aged two to 11 years; 14.5 per cent of those between 12 and 16; and 17.1 per cent of teenagers and young adults aged 17 to 24 years still experienced Covid-19 symptoms five weeks after the initial onset.

“In the paediatric patient group, we tailor the care as the symptoms may differ from the adult groups, while still impacting the respiratory, neurological, emotional as well as physical functions. If these remained unchecked, these post-Covid-19 complications/impairments may lead to further deconditioning,” added Dr Popatia, who also serves as medical director of Amana Healthcare.


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She noted that these complications can range from difficulty in breathing, speech, eating and drinking, lack of energy, tiredness, inability to do everyday actives and shortness of breath, to issues with paying attention, concentration, sadness, anxiety and so on.

All these complications have an impact on schooling, life at home and overall development of the paediatric population.

“Our paediatric patients will have access to a full continuum of care, with appropriate therapies customised to meet their unique needs, and provided on an inpatient, outpatient, home and tele-rehab basis,” said Dr Popatia.

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