Manipur government urged to upgrade healthcare infrastructure for children ahead of Covid third wave

Manipur has started witnessing increasing number of children being infected by COVID-19. However, not a single COVID Care Centre for children has been set up till date.


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As experts predict severe impact of COVID-19 third wave on children, Manipur needs to upgrade its limited infrastructure for child healthcare and ensure proper preparation to fight pandemic successfully.

States like Maharashtra and many places of the country such as Indore, Bangaluru and Delhi have set up dedicated COVID Care Centre for children. Some states have also started procuring pediatric ventilators and medicines for children as a precautionary measure to handle the third wave of COVID-19.

Manipur has started witnessing increasing number of children being infected by COVID-19. However, not a single COVID Care Centre for children has been set up till date. In view of it, the department of Social Welfare has requested the authority concerned for opening of it.

Apart from this, the healthcare facilities for children in the state are limited. It has become a matter of big concern whether adequate healthcare service can be provided for children if the state is hit by the third wave of COVID-19.

Expressing his views to the media, former Pediatric Association of Manipur (PAM) president Dr Shyamkumar Laishram said that PAM has started surveying the infrastructure for child healthcare service in the state.

The kind of infrastructure found in the state for treatment of children is very limited and would not be adequate to face the eventuality if the ongoing pandemic starts affecting children on a large scale, Dr Shyamkumar added.

As such, the state needs to gear up in improving the infrastructure for child healthcare service and prepare to open one COVID NICU and PICU from now onwards so that any kind of COVID eventuality may be handled with ease, suggested Dr Shyamkumar, who is also former president of the Indian Medical Association.

Dr Shyamkuamr said that as per data they had collected, there are five Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), eight Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and five Special Care Nursery Unit (SCNU) in Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS). Whereas in the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), there are five PICU, 10 NICU and five SCNU, he added.

Among private hospitals, he mentioned that Mother's Care Children Hospital has 13 PICU, four emergency ward and 21 combined NICU and SCNU; Shija Hospital and Research Institute has six PICU and 10 NICU; and Raj Medicity has seven NICU but PICU is combined with adult ICU.

The number of childcare units itself can predict the possibility of facing acute shortage in healthcare service for children in the state if the situation of the ongoing pandemic worsens, he added.

DR Shyamkumar further said that a separate COVID Care Centre for children below 12 years is also necessary.

It is hoped that the state government takes heed and make prior necessary arrangments for child healthcare before the third wave hits the state.

First Published:May 27, 2021, 9:19 p.m.

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