The maternal and child health clinics at Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) health centres are continuing to operate uninterrupted during the Covid-19 pandemic, with an emphasis on providing health and wellness education.
Khawla al-Jaray, health educator atthe Madinat Khalifa Health Centre, PHCC says the corporation believes health education plays a significant role in enhancing the health of individuals and societies. This is in keeping with PHCC’s aim to provide enhanced preventative, health and wellness services in the community, by focusing on empowering people to make informed decisions for their health.
“In fact, health education is a priority when it comes to protection from diseases, which in turn helps accomplish the objectives of the health centres. PHCC has assigned qualified and experienced health educators at the centres to help create awareness among patients regarding various health issues. We assist them in making the right decisions and finding solutions, providing them with essential health information, promoting and supporting good health behavior, amending or correcting bad health attitudes and beliefs, and building a healthy lifestyle," she explained.
Prenatal services at the health centres support women from gestation through childbirth and include assessment, early detection of risk factors, referral of high-risk cases to secondary care, and stable and low-risk cases to the hospital for follow up, and assessment in week 34 of pregnancy to ensure delivery with minimal risks.
Supporting the country’s healthcare system and the measures taken to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, PHCC proactively turned certain health centres into dedicated Covid-19 testing centres. However, at the same, PHCC believed it was imperative to continue services to ensure the well-being of mothers and children, a press statement noted. New measures were introduced to limit the number of visitors to the health centres at any given time, avoiding crowding and minimising the chances of spreading infection.
“The PHCC's option of virtual services was also popular with the patients. When required, the teams would organise appointments and personal visits to patients at advanced stages of pregnancy, ultrasound services and medical tests. In addition, vaccinations continued uninterrupted,” said al-Jaray.
The PHCC's post-natal programme, meanwhile, helps assess the physical and mental health of mothers, providing them with support to help them through challenges that might affect their health during the post-natal phase. This service is available only to new mothers giving natural birth at any Hamad Medical Corporation obstetric hospital, and who are registered at PHCC health centres.
Additionally, health education awareness services are provided to mothers with a special focus on the role of breastfeeding and healthy nutrition to raise a healthy child.
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