Friday, 17 September, 2021

Healthcare workers to be trained for providing critical care to children


By TRN Online, Kathmandu, July 24: A rough sketch on training healthcare workers for providing critical care to children was formulated by the Nepal Paediatric Society (NPS) today in a meeting amidst preparation for the anticipated upcoming third wave of the Coronavirus.

The Spokesperson of the Ministry of Health and Population (MOHP) Dr Krishna Prasad Poudel has said that the predicted third wave is likely to impact children more as vaccines are not yet available to children below the age of 18 as no vaccine trials were conducted on children.

Dr Krishna Prasad Bista the former Chairperson of NPS and a Paediatrician has said that one of the agendas in today’s NPS monthly meeting was to create a team of Paediatricians that would train healthcare workers in all Provinces in providing critical care to children.

Dr Bista further mentioned that critical care for children in Nepal has always been underdeveloped. Very few hospitals have ICU’S and CCU’S dedicated to children. The types of equipment needed for children in the ICU and CCU are very different compared to that of adults.

“There are only two hospitals in Nepal that are solely dedicated to treating children. One is in Kathmandu and the other is in Lumbini Province,” he added.

He further added that so far there are only around 550 Paediatricians throughout the country although the number has significantly increased over the past few years.

On June 4 this year the government of Nepal had issued a circular requesting all hospitals to dedicate 20 per cent of their beds solely to treating children infected with Coronavirus.

The plan of the NPS is to create a team of around 20 Trainers of Training (TOT) that would mostly consist of Paediatricians and nurses and would be trained in providing critical care for children including operating equipment in the ICU and CCU designed for children.

The training will be organised with direction from the National Health Training Centre (NHTC). The TOT will then travel to all seven provinces providing the same instructions they learnt to all healthcare workers. 

Former Director of the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division (EDCD) and a virologist, Dr Basudev Pandey, has also predicted that the third wave of the Coronavirus is more likely to affect children.

“We had conducted a Seroprevalence survey last year in September to find the extent of the infection in the population by looking for antibodies in people. Among the 13 per cent of the population who had created antibodies, we noticed that children created significantly fewer antibodies as compared to adults leaving children more vulnerable to the virus,” Pandey said.