In the time of telemedicine where doctors are offering consultation over the phone or video call, there has been a remarkable rise in those looking for advice on paediatric issues.
Online health portal Practo recorded a 350 per cent rise in paediatric queries, with delayed vaccination being among the top concerns for parents.
Among the common vaccination queries were that of BCG vaccination, painless vaccination for infants, impact of delay on administering influenza vaccine, missed PCV vaccination cycle, and typhoid vaccination for affected children during lockdown.
Some of the other queries included cough and cold in babies, fever and headache in toddlers, and motion problems during summer.
About 67 per cent of the paediatric queries came from men while 33 per cent came from women. Among women, the queries grew by more than 150 per cent in both metro cities like Bengaluru, followed by Hyderabad, Delhi NCR, Chennai and Mumbai, and tier II cities like Chandigarh, Patna, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Indore.
Dr Alexander Kuruvilla, Chief Healthcare Strategy Officer, Practo, said in a statement, “In the current times of social distancing and lockdown, it is important that we choose platforms that help us manage our health from home rather than visiting hospitals. Telemedicine is the best way for a preliminary check-up or a follow-up consultation, especially for children and infants, as even the smallest of symptoms can cause immense worry to the parents. Seeking timely medical help in such situations is a must. Parents residing in any corner of the country can clarify their queries with the best pediatricians available on our platform, 24*7. We are continuously working towards providing parents non-stop access to verified doctors and will introduce more initiatives in the coming days to ensure that.”
“Telemedicine is a great way to respond to parents who have questions around issues like feeding, vaccinations, minor issues or their child’s behaviour — issues that really matter to parents but, because of lockdown, may have had to wait to be addressed if not for telemedicine. If their kids are due for vaccinations, they should as a first step consult a doctor online and check with them on the best possible ways to get it done on time. To avoid the delay, home vaccination is being offered. But parents should be very cautious before opting for it as reaction to vaccines can become serious and it will be difficult to treat such emergencies during home administration. More importantly, it is vital that parents are well-informed in order to take the right decision for their infants, because every vaccine contributes to their overall healthy well-being,” Dr Prashanth S Urs, HOD, senior consultant neonatologist and paediatrician, department of neonatology, Apollo Hospital, Bengaluru, was also quoted as saying.
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