Reaching out. (Left to right) Shaikh Abdullah Bin Rashid Al Mualla, Dr Antonio Martins and Shaikh Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al Mualla at the newly opened Royal European Paediatric Clinic in Umm Suqeim in Dubai Image Credit: A.K. Kallouche/XPRESS

Dubai: A unique children’s clinic has been launched in Dubai to offer a wide range of paediatric services, including the early detection of learning difficulties.

Located in J3 Mall of Umm Suqeim, the Royal European Pediatric Clinic (REPC) has been set up by Shaikh Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Mualla and his cousin Shaikh Abdullah bin Rashid Al Mualla with full support from the Mohammad Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives under Dubai SME, an agency of the Department of Economic Development, and the Dubai Health Authority.|

Vast experience

Speaking to XPRESS ahead of the launch this week, Shaikh Hamad said the clinic is headed by Dr Antonio Martins, a paediatrician from Vienna, who has 35 years of experience in general paediatrics and 19 years in the field of learning difficulties.

Shaikh Hamad said, “Like other children’s clinic, REPC offers an umbrella of services like general paediatrics, ophthalmology, psychology, neurology, nutrition etc. But where it provides additional value is that it has the expertise to identify the cause of learning difficulties in children and adolescents. This is something which often goes undiagnosed until very late. But with early detection and the right intervention, every child can get the chance he or she deserves to integrate with the mainstream.”

Shaikh Hamad said he himself was diagnosed with dyslexia, one form of learning difficulty, as a child but was privileged as the problem was identified early on and he was able to study at the Mark College Somerset in the UK, a specialist school for children with learning disabilities. Today, a businessman with a master’s degree in international business, he is also the global advocate for children and adults at Dyslexia International, a non-profit organisation linked with the Unesco and will be chairing its international conference on dyslexia in Paris in October. Shaikh Hamad said he plans to share his vast repertoire of knowledge and experience at free seminars and workshops that the clinic will hold from time to time.

Shaikh Abdullah said he was motivated to start a clinic like REPC because of its mission. “I am part of such an initiative because it involves children. I am a father of two boys and I strongly feel that every child has the right to a good education. For this, it is essential to identify as early as possible if the child has any learning challenges. I have seen what my cousin has gone through and what he has achieved.”

Dr Martins said, “A paediatrician’s job doesn’t end with treating a cold or cough. He is responsible for a child’s mental and emotional well-being. Children are the future assets of the country. It is our job to ensure no child is left behind.”