Dubai: In the last two years, more than 81,000 children have been screened for developmental delays using Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA) Baraem tool, which is available on the DHA app. Children who need medical follow-up are then referred to specialised centres for timely intervention.
Dr Fatima Sultan Al Olama, consultant and head of the Child Health Unit at DHA, said that the Baraem Early Development Screening Tool aims to detect developmental delays in children aged nine months to six years.
Al Olama added the aim of this service is to ensure early detection and timely intervention to provide children with the best possible medical outcomes, support and encouragement. She said that there are certain skills that children need to acquire by a certain age, such as stepping for the first time, smiling for the first time, waving and pointing. These are all aspects of developmental milestones that children should meet. Developmental delays happen when a child does not reach these milestones in time.
Socio-emotional and cognitive skills
Dr Olama highlighted that the comprehensive tool consists of a set of quick, easy-to-access, high-accuracy and credible questions to assess a child’s development in terms of movement, socio-emotional and cognitive skills, speech and language skills.
She said that the Baraem tool allows parents to assess the development of their children from the age of nine months to six years,and this tool is available on the DHA application.
Facility for non-DHA patients also
She explained that the tool creates an immediate child assessment report where parents can see the results and a copy of the report is sent to the electronic medical record system for DHA clients, noting that patients using non-DHA health facilities can also view their results.
She highlighted that the introduction of this tool has helped raise awareness on the need to screen children to ensure they are meeting their development milestones.