A Spokesperson of Health Department informed here today that keeping in mind the anticipated third wave of Covid pandemic, it has become a priority of the Government to protect vulnerable children and to address pediatric Covid case management in the State. He added that the protocol for the management of paediatric group has already been shared with the Districts and the Medical Colleges on 3rd May, 2021. However the Health Department is taking serious and focused steps to ensure that the vulnerable children are taken care of, in this pandemic.
He said that it was being ensured that SNCUs, Pediatric HDUs, NICU, PICUs must be made functional on priority basis. He further informed that all the Chief Medical Officers, Principals of Medical Colleges and Medical Superintendents of District Hospitals and Civil Hospitals and Medical Colleges have been directed to ensure the availability of paediatric ward and newborn units in dedicated Covid Hospitals either by augmentation of existing facilities or ear-marking the beds in existing facilities. It shall be ensured that these beds shall be preferably supported by central oxygen supply. Presently there are 224 SNCU beds in 16 facilities across the State. In addition, four New Born Stabilization Unit at DDU Shimla, ZH Dharamshala, CHC Nalagarh and CH Nurpur, District Kangra are shortly going to be upgraded to Sick Newborn Care Unit. Also there are seven Pediatric High Dependency Units in the State which have 34 beds
He further added that directions have been given to make an appropriate emergency triage and treatment services for newborn and paediatric patients at all levels. The diagnostic consumables, oxygen support, referral support, telemedicine facility are required to be made available in all the designated facilities. The Human Resource staffing plan for Paediatricians, Medical Officers, Staff Nurses involved in paediatric care has to be made by the Hospital in charges. The department has also given directions to make all the non functional equipment in SNCU, functional at the earliest.