Doctors talk about neurological disorders in children, pandemic-related challenges, the services offered, and initiatives undertaken by the centre to raise awareness
In conversation with Dr Arif Khan, Founder, CEO and Consultant Paediatric Neurologist, Neuropedia
As the CEO of a pioneering brand in treating neurological disorders in children, how mature are the services that the UAE has on tap and where do you see Neuropedia in this space?
The UAE has made immense strides in the world with its fast-paced development. In a mere 50 years since it’s formation, the UAE has seen the kind of meteoric rise that few countries thriving heavily on expatriate relocation manage to sustain. Paediatric neurology as a speciality is a relatively new branch of medicine. There are only a handful of trained paediatric neurologists in the country and to add to this we noted a significant gap in inter-disciplinary services in paediatric neuroscience. Neuropedia Children’s Neuroscience Center was born to wedge a similar gap in the field of paediatric neuroscience. Over the past three years of service, Neuropedia has brought in the most advanced and evidence-based therapies and treatment options for the regional child population. We have always strived to be the pioneers in bringing the most advanced and innovative solutions for children.
The pandemic saw a lot of hospitals being pushed to the limit in terms of providing treatment and care. What were the pandemic-related challenges that Neuropedia and its staff faced and how were they surmounted?
During this unprecedented Covid period, we faced a considerable number of challenges. First and foremost was the need to avoid and contain infections as well as to protect both the children and parents and the staff involved while making sure the clinical services are not hindered. The entire patient flow pathway had to be reorganised and adapted to suit the need of the hour. To minimise, in-person attendances and maintain social distancing we had to innovate and adapt to a new form of consultation called telemedicine. This helped us cater to our regular chronic patients by providing them virtual advice and sending prescriptions by emails. Our staff have to be credited entirely for maintaining the highest level of care and quality while limiting infectious risks for our paediatric patients and their families.
What are some of the initiatives that Neuropedia undertook in the past one year to raise awareness on neurological disorders among children?
Rare diseases under the umbrella of neurology and genetics are considered orphan diseases because they are extremely rare and therefore not seen regularly by paediatricians. This leads to poor recognition and knowledge stagnation in this area. Neuropedia took a unique initiative to bringing in clinical genetic services to add to their comprehensive neurosciences team. A number of webinars and short interviews were carried out to spread the message among professionals and general population. We also developed speciality clinics for Down syndrome and spasticity management. The purple day for epilepsy was celebrated with a lot of exposure and content, thereby raising awareness of epilepsy in childhood. Narrative medicine, is telling stories about a patients journey with a specific diagnosis, to bring about awareness among the regional population. We carried out a number of such activities using the reach of social media and print media throughout the year.
We are committed to achieve the best possible outcomes for children: Dr Aman Sohal
In conversation with Dr Aman Sohal, Founding Partner and Clinical Director, Neuropedia
As a pioneering paediatric neurosciences centre in the UAE, how comprehensive are the services that Neuropedia offers?
Neuropedia Children’s Neuroscience Center is a flagship institute catering specifically to children with neurological disorders with extensive breadth of services in and around the region. Neuropedia is one-stop-shop for all major services pertaining to neurological disorders, including paediatric neurology consultations and diagnostics, neurophysiology services such as EEG’s and nerve conduction study , paediatric orthopaedics, neurogenetics, child psychology, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, behavioural therapy, and paediatric dietetics services. All these are provided under the expert guidance of consultant paediatric neurologists and carried out by professionals trained at premier institutes around the world. Neuropedia has recently pioneered a hub-and-spoke model wherein after the children are appropriately diagnosed, the treatment plan is undertaken within the schools in the community to avoid unnecessary travel to the clinic. This model also fulfils our vision and responsibility of educating the wider community by carrying out seminars/webinars and raising awareness about complex neurological conditions amongst teachers and parents.
Neurodevelopmental paediatrics is still in its evolutionary stages globally. How expansive are the services that Neuropedia provides in this space?
Neurodevelopmental paediatrics, a sub-branch of paediatrics and paediatric neurology is an integral part of our clinical practice and has more recently come into focus globally due to increased awareness among general population and clinicians. The purpose of this sub-branch is to unpick any underlying neurodevelopmental issues, which children may have, as early as possible so that appropriate interventions can be put in place to support the child to achieve his/her maximum potential over time. Neuropedia is quite unique because we have trained professionals to identify children who may have these neurodevelopmental disorders at a very young age and provide them targeted treatment so that they do not veer away too far from the “trajectory of normal development”. These disorders include development delay, abnormal behaviour patterns, autistic spectrum disorder, and speech delay. The children are usually seen by our paediatric neurologists and referred to a child psychologists and/or behavioural consultants to formulate an early Intervention plan, which in turn is carried out be expert therapists.
What is the USP of the brand?
Paediatric neurology is a reasonably new sub-specialty in the field of medicine and has been making big strides over the past few years in the field of research and service provision to children with neurological disorders. At Neuropedia we always keep the child and family’s interest foremost and advocate a family-centered approach in managing some extremely complex disorders. Neuropedia prides itself for being in the forefront in providing outcome-based neurological services and our specialist staff is highly committed to achieve the best possible outcomes for the children, all under “one roof”.
For more information, visit Neuropedia.ae or call 04 343 1113 to book an appointment