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Shillong: The Meghalaya health department on Tuesday got its first Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), which was inaugurated by Health Minister James PK Sangma at Ganesh Das Government MCH Hospital, in Shillong.

The work to set up this PICU facility started last June and was completed recently. Medical experts had warned that the third wave of COVID-19 could have more effects on children and there was a lot of concern about the government hospitals not having a PICU facility.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, the health minister said more than 30% of the cases at Ganesh Das Hospital are pediatric related and this really goes to show the urgency and the need for having a PICU.

Sangma also emphasised the state celebrating 50 years of statehood and today the PICU being inaugurated. “I think it is very symbolic. It’s very significant and the need of the hour that today we are being able to able to inaugurate this pediatric ICU and I’m indeed very honored and privileged to be the person to inaugurate this,” he said.

The minister thanked the principal secretary of health & family welfare dept, Sampath Kumar, who has been instrumental in conceptualizing this. Sangma also thanked the team led by Director of Health Services Dr Aman Warr “who has worked tirelessly to make this a reality”.

Principal Secretary (Health) Sampath Kumar said this is the first PICU in the government-run institution, adding that eight such similar facilities will be coming up in other government health centres across the state.

According to him, the setting up of this facility at the hospital is all the more important since 15% of institutional deliveries in a calendar year take place at Ganesh Das Hospital. Kumar said the state has a very good team of paediatricians.

DHS (MI) Dr Aman Warr said it was a red letter day since the hospital was lacking this health care facility. According to him, this will go a long way in providing better paediatric service.

Senior Paediatric specialist Dr T Pde, while delivering the keynote address, said the need of PICU was necessary especially with the anticipation that children will be affected by the third wave of Covid-19 pandemic.

Also read: Mizoram: Highest single-day spike ever with 2,531 new covid cases

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