Amana Healthcare Extends Specialized Post-Covid-19 Rehabilitation Services to Children

27 Oct 2021 Amana
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

To address the growing concern of post-COVID-19 complications – or ‘long COVID’ – among children in the UAE, Amana Healthcare has announced it is extending its specialized rehabilitation program to children from as young as two years old.

In 2020, the Mubadala Health partner developed the first-of-its kind specialized post-COVID-19 rehabilitation program to cover ICU step-down rehabilitation and ventilator weaning; specialized inpatient rehabilitation; home or tele/video rehabilitation; and specialized outpatient rehabilitation. An assessment is made whether all four stages of the program are necessary, after which appropriate therapy is provided to assist in returning the patient to pre-illness levels of function and activities.

Amana Dr. Rizwana Popatia

Consultant pediatric pulmonologist and sleep medicine physician Dr. Rizwana Popatia, who leads the pediatric program, says: “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% of children aged two to 11 years; 14.5% of those aged 12–16 years; and 17.1% of teenagers and young adults aged 17–24 years still had COVID-19 symptoms at five weeks after the initial onset.

Dr. Popatia, who also serves as Medical Director of Amana Healthcare, adds: “In the pediatric 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 complications/impairments may lead to further deconditioning.”

According to Dr. Popatia, 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 of these complications have an impact on schooling, life at home and overall development of the pediatric population.

“Our pediatric patients will have access to a full continuum of care, with appropriate therapies customized to meet their unique needs, and provided on an inpatient, outpatient, home and tele-rehab basis,” she says.

Dr. Popatia works with a multidisciplinary specialized pediatric team consisting of internationally trained pediatric specialists, respiratory therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, and pulmonology specialists, dieticians, special needs educator and a child life specialist.

Amana is the Middle East’s leading provider of post-acute/specialized care for complex conditions and is known for pioneering specialized rehabilitation in the UAE and beyond. Its specialized rehabilitation services and its long-term pediatric and adult care services are accredited by the US-based Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, or CARF.

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