*Addressing the doctors in the training symposium International Pediatric ICU, Hon'ble Health Minister Banna Gupta along with the chairperson of the Women's Doctors Wing Dr. Bharti Kashyap and NRHM. Director of Mr. Ravi Shankar Shukla
International doctors from University of California at Los Angeles, University of Texas and University of Illinois, USA, today imparted online training to several hundred Jharkhand doctors ,on critical care, preparation of Pediatric Intensive Care Units and treatment protocols to combat a possible third Covid wave and outbreak of the virus in children.
Those attending today's webinar were pediatricians working in state run medical college and hospitals, district hospitals, malnutrition treatment centres, Special New Born Care Units, New Born Stabilization Units, physicians and pediatricians going to be posted in the upcoming 28 new Pediatric Intensive Care Units (PICU)s all over Jharkhand.
The International Webinar titled "International PICU and Critical Care Training Symposium", was organised by Women Doctors Wing, Indian Medical Association(IMA), Jharkhand in association with Department of Health and family welfare , Govt. of Jharkhand. The Webinar was inaugurated by Banna Gupta, Health Minister.
Also in attendance were Arun Kumar Singh, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Health, Dr. J.A.Jayalal, national president,IMA, Dr.Jayesh Lele, national secretary, IMA, Dr.L.Yesodha, national president,Women Doctors Wing,IMA, Dr.Kavitha Ravi, national secretary,Women Doctors Wing,IMA, Ravi Shankar Shukla, director, National Health Mission, Dr.Arun Kumar Singh, state president, IMA Jharkhand Dr.Pradip Kumar Singh, state secretary, IMA Jharkhand and Dr.Kumar Diwakar, pediatrician, Tata Main Hospital, Jamshedpur
Welcoming the guests, Dr.Bharti Kashyap, chairperson, Women Doctors Wing, IMA Jharkhand said that this was the first time that such an international webinar has been arranged where specialists from top medical colleges in USA would share their insights and perspectives on combating a possible third Covid wave that is projected to affect several lakh children in Jharkhand.
Providing vital inputs and procedural skills to Jharkhand doctors were Dr. Yonca Bulut, Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Critical Care, Department of Pediatrics, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, and Los Angeles, USA, Dr. Ravi Kashyap, Associate Clinical Professor, University of Illinois College of Medicine, USA and Dr. Pooja Kashyap, Pediatric Cardiologist, Director of Adult congenital Program and Assistant Professor, University of Texas, USA.
(Honorable Health Minister Dr. Bharti Kashyap, Chairperson of the Women's Doctors Wing honoring Banna Gupta with a citation by American doctors)
The USA based specialists suggested that to reduce the impact of a possible third wave of Covid infections, urgent steps, should include mechanisms to recognise early warning symptoms, putting in place child ICUs equipped with monitoring devices like electro- cardiogram and echo cardiogram equipments and supported by advanced diagnostic and pathological testing facilities along with an efficient transport/ambulance system to ensure quick hospitalisation .
All such facilities should be manned by pediatric heart specialists and pediatric ICU specialists, nursing personnel and trained manpower capable of managing all monitoring devices and interpreting pathological and diagnostic test results in the shortest possible time, to ensure prompt care to Covid affected children.
Organise training for doctors, cardiologists, pediatric heart specialists, nursing staff, health care personnel manning radiological, diagnostic and path labs, ventilators, respiratory devices and other equipments, they stressed.
The US specialists stressed that proper stocks of essential medicines be build up for each Pediatric ICU to take care of child patients and all children showing signs of Covid infection should be immediately shifted to designated Pediatric ICUs. "Wearing of masks , following proper hand hygiene and social distancing along with vaccinating the entire eligible population, would be the key to beat the third Covid wave and protect children and our future. Covid 19 vaccines are safe and effective," the US specialists stressed.
Dr.Bharti Kashyap, chairperson, Women Doctors Wing, IMA, Jharkhand pleaded that respiratory ailments and heart problems in children caused by Covid infection be also brought under the Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Scheme, to provide relief to low income groups.
"It is very necessary to set up state of the art common pathological labs, capable of delivering diagnostic test results in the shortest possible time be set up for each cluster of 3 to 4 pediatric ICUs, to ensure speedy diagnosis, prompt treatment and care for all Covid affected children," Dr.Bharti Kashyap suggested.
Speaking on the occasion, Banna Gupta, health minister, conceded that trends indicate that a possible third Covid wave could target children in particular, which in turn would demand immediate hospitalisation. The raging first and second wave had not spared children and the younger generation, though the extent of infections have been mild, because of higher immunity levels of these groups. Our chief minister, Hemant Soren, has also lend his full support to us to combat the Covid waves and I express my gratitude for his all out support.
In this context, the International Webinar and Training Programme, organised by Women Doctors Wing, IMA Jharkhand , with the aim of protecting our children, is significant and a commendable step. I express my gratitude to Dr.Bharti Kashyap fior organising this programme. I also welcome and congratulate Dr. Yonca Bulut, Professor of Pediatrics, University of California, and Los Angeles, USA, Dr. Ravi Kashyap, Associate Professor, University of Illinois College of Medicine, USA and Dr. Pooja Kashyap, Pediatric Cardiologist, University of Texas, USA,all of whom have stayed awake past midnight to be a part of the programme and for sharing their insights at today's international webinar cum training programme. I am thankful for their guidance on recognition of early warning symptoms in children, MISC, the need to set up fully equipped PICUs, limited use of steroids and their suggestions for drawing up proper treatment protocols.
I am grateful to Dr.L.Yesodha, national president,Women Doctors Wing,IMA, Dr.Kavitha Ravi, national secretary,Women Doctors Wing,IMA, Ravi Shankar Shukla, director, National Health Mission for supporting this programme.
"It is estimated that around 7 lakh children in Jharkhand would be affected if and when the third Covid wave strikes. Total population of children below the 18 age group is around 1.44 crores . With a possible 5 percent strike rate, at least 7 lakh children are expected to contract the virus, as per the state health department estimates. It is also feared that the more seriously affected children, might develop Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome and even Black Fungus infection, in later stages. No medicine or vaccine has yet been developed to root out the virus and hence we need to be more vigilant and ready to prevent all eventualities and loss of lives," the health minister revealed.
Doctors today have also drawn attention to the growing attacks of health care professionals in many places. We are determined to implement the Medical Protection Act in Jharkhand. I announce that a high powered committee comprising additional chief secretary, doctors and other professionals would be formed very soon, to ensure protection of all health care professionals. We are grateful to all our corona warriors and would soon announce compensation tfor all doctors who have laid down their lives while selflessly combating the Covid wave.