DAMMAM – Closer cooperation among healthcare providers in handling pediatric emergency and clinical care will further reduce infant mortality in Saudi Arabia. This was the consensus reached at the National Pediatric Acute Care Symposium that concluded here Wednesday at the Asharqia Chambers of Commerce in the Eastern Province.
Leading experts in pediatric care addressed the symposium, which was attended by about 200 delegates, among them emergency medicine physicians, general pediatricians, pediatric residents, family medicine physicians, general practitioners, nurses, and respiratory therapists.
“The Kingdom has achieved an excellent record in newborn and infant care, but there is a need to further update knowledge and clinical skills and a need for closer cooperation among healthcare providers, particularly those in pediatric medicine,” said Dr. Hussam Al-Tamimi, chairman of the organizing committee and head of the pediatric department at the Maternity and Children’s Hospital in Dammam.
Three objectives were cited during the symposium that will help to bring about a reduction of mortality in the Kingdom. These are continuing updates on new developments in the field of pediatric emergency and critical care, enhancing the knowledge and clinical skills of healthcare providers in the field of pediatrics, and closer cooperation among healthcare providers.
Wide ranging topics were discussed during the two-day symposium, including newborn metabolic emergencies by Dr. Salwa Al-Khalifi, consultant pediatric metabolic, and child abuse by Dr. Huda Al-Ayouni, consultant pediatric nephrologist, both from the Maternity and Children’s Hospital in Dammam.
The infant mortality rate in Saudi Arabia has declined significantly. The United Nations Children’s Fund (originally the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) and the World Health Organization have recorded that the infant mortality rate in the Kingdom declined from 47.94 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2003 to just 11.94 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2008. – SG