Islamabad: Around 200 paediatricians have successfully been trained in Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu Kashmir regarding proper use of oxygen therapy to save lives of preterm babies as hundreds of newborns with heart, lung or respiratory problems may need to breathe increased amount of oxygen for survival, experts and officials said.
“Newborns with heart, lung, or respiratory problems may need to breathe increased amounts of oxygen but breathing too much oxygen can damage the lungs of babies who are born prematurely, and may also lead to problems in the brain and eyes”, Dr. Mariyam Sarfraz, head of Global Health Department at HSA told ‘The News’.
The project titled ‘Trickle-down Trainings on National Oxygen Therapy Guidelines for Children,’ was jointly launched by the Unicef in collaboration with Health Services Academy (HSA), Pakistan Paediatrics Association (PPA) and some other national stakeholders including health authorities in Gilgit-Baltistan and AJK for proper use of oxygen therapy for saving lives of preterm and sick children. “Newborns with heart, lung, or respiratory problems may need to breathe increased amounts of oxygen but breathing too much oxygen can damage the lungs of babies who are born very prematurely, and may also lead to problems in the brain and eyes”, Dr. Mariyam further informed.
According to her, they have trained around 99 paediatricians in Gilgit including 35 in Skardu, 34 paediatricians in Gilgit city and 30 paediatricians and child specialists in Chilas where eight trainers and experts imparted the oxygen therapy training as per national guidelines.
Similarly, 90 paediatricians have been trained in three cities of Azad Jammu and Kashmir including 30 participants each in Kotli, Bagh and Muzaffarabad where seven leading health experts trained them on use of oxygen for saving lives of the newly born children. The training sessions covered topics on hypoxia management, oxygen delivery systems, and CPAP therapy. Participants had the chance to learn from experts, engage in discussions, and ask questions. Hands-on demonstrations were well-received and provided valuable information for participants' responsibilities. The training also offered networking opportunities with healthcare professionals from Gilgit-Baltistan.
"We are grateful to the organisers, sponsors, and participants for their support of this training initiative," said Dr. Mariyam Sarfraz and vowed to supporting similar initiatives in the other provinces of Pakistan, for a larger impact towards improving child health and reducing mortality in children.