Developmental Paediatric unit
Sultan Qaboos University Hospital
SQUH developmental pediatric clinic was established by the end of 2010. It is the first developmental pediatric clinic in the country. The clinic started with a single developmental pediatrician. Currently the unit of developmental pediatrics involves one senior consultant developmental pediatrician, senior specialist developmental pediatrician, specialist developmental pediatrician, senior clinical psychologist, psychologist, speech and language therapist, occupational therapist and a specialized nurse.
The developmental clinic is committed to utilize gold-standard and evidence-based methods in diagnostic process. Therefore, the quality of diagnostic and evaluation service is comparable to any international developmental diagnostic centre worldwide.
Working at national level:
The developmental team participated actively in launching Oman National autism and developmental disorders screening program which is considered the first routine national developmental screening program utilising local tool in the Middle East area. The program served as a model for similar upcoming interventions in the Gulf and Middle East area.
National situation of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Oman was raised repeatedly by developmental team in different platforms. Therefore, the team took the lead in advocating for autistic patients and children with developmental disorders, and the current situation discussed on multiple meetings with different concerned stakeholders. The cascade of community consensus ended successively by public talk presented in Al-Shura’ council by Dr. Watfa Al-Mamari multiple times.
The developmental team produced pamphlets and flyers about childhood development and autism which has been printed by SQU press and distributed among health educational material in SQUH. Furthermore, multiple open days, public lectures, along with participations radio and TV shows were done in endeavor to increase public awareness about common developmental disorders.
Consultancy & health professionals’ empowerment:
The developmental team participated in different local conferences and workshops in Sultanate of Oman. Furthermore, they participated by teaching developmental and behavioral pediatrics to under and post graduate medical students, in addition, introduction of developmental pediatric training for nursing student in SQU. The developmental team participated in designing a readymade curriculum for workshop about screening and referring cases of suspected autism and developmental disorders in Oman. The workshop mentioned above conducted in all governorates of Sultanate of Oman with help of the team members.
The developmental team has published multiple papers in highly scientific peer-reviewed medical journals. Moreover, the team presented and shared their experience in different international conferences/meetings in the past few years.
Upcoming regional platform:
There is a lack of experts in the field of autism, neurodevelopmental and mental health disorders in the Middle East area in general and in GCC in particular. The scarcity of coordination and disintegration between the existing experts is further challenging the health system and shading a dark shadow on the services that are provided to those patients. Given that, the developmental team took the challenge initiating the upcoming event to gather the experts in an updated review of the evidence-based science in the field. Moreover, as a by-product of the upcoming conference, aim is to reach a common memorandum between the professionals in the area to support those children, keeping in mind the moral responsibility to help underprivileged community members. By conducting this event, we are advocating for better lives for patients who are chosen to have disadvantaged capabilities. Moreover, we are trying to enroll those patients in the renaissance of the nation.