May 29, 2021 1:13:23 am
The Gujarat health department, by way of a resolution dated May 27, has constituted a seven-member committee for preparing guidelines on ‘paediatric holistic Covid management’.
The seven members include paediatricians Dr Somasekhar Nimbalkar from Pramukhswami Medical College in Karamsad, Dr Sheila Aiyer of SSG Hospital Vadodara, Dr Baldev Prajapati from Gujarat Cancer Society Medical College in Ahmedabad, Dr Namrata Makwana from MP Shah Medical College in Jamnagar, Dr Chetan Bhalgama (paediatric intensivist) and Dr Pankaj Buch from PDU Medical College in Rajkot and Dr Nehal Patel from Gujarat Medical Education Research Society (GMERS) Sola in Ahmedabad.
The committee is expected to submit “comprehensive management guidelines of Covid in children within a week,” the resolution states, signed by Deputy Secretary, Health department B B Rathod.
With Dr Buch as the coordinator for the team, the committee is expected to frame guidelines on setting up newborn and child friendly Covid care wards, management of Covid in newborn and management of children in home isolation as well as ICU care, psychological aspect and counselling of parents, routine vaccination in children, implementing use of mask for children and other Covid-appropriate behaviour among them, as well as guidelines on management of Covid in specially-abled children and children with comorbidity
Dr Buch told The Indian Express that so far paediatric doctors have been drawing their treatment plans from the Central Ministry guidelines designed by WHO and UNICEF, and guidelines by Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP).
“Under the guidance from the Government of Gujarat and based on guidelines from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and resources from IAP, the guideline (by the state committee) will be fine-tuned to local needs…majority of children world-over have sailed through with a mild or asymptomatic disease, those with some comorbidities may develop some severity, requiring hospitalisation. For children with autoimmune diseases, they are more likely to develop severe disease. Based on (clinical) presentation, they should be reported immediately to a paediatric doctor or at some care level and they may require hospitalisation.”
“For children with special needs, the proposed guideline is that their parents are vaccinated as early as possible…All districts have the list of specially abled children and through the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) medical officers, they will be specially monitored, that is the plan so far,” added Dr Buch.
“We are trying to make pediatric wards child friendly in form of modifications such as special toilets, availability of TV, cartoon channels and usually in the second wave, one of the parent was allowed, with proper infection control practices, and is something that can be taken forward in the guideline,” says Dr Buch.
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