Introduction:Healthy children are the forerunners of tomorrow’s prosperous nation. A healthy child is not only a child free from diseases but a child who is growing, developing and enjoying the essence of childhood at fullest for his/her potential.The Department of Pediatrics, AIIMS, Rishikesh appreciates the dual challenges of serving in one of the most underprivileged regions in terms of child health infrastructure, along with the mandate of being the forerunner in terms Pediatrics education & research. In fact, these challenges and a zeal to change the regional landscape of child health; have been the guiding principles for us as we chart our evolution.Services:General OPD: The footfall at our general OPD in the year 2016 was 16000 children but hidden in these numbers is the department’s emphasis on ‘quality’ - quality of consultation in terms of chamber time aimed at holistic evaluation, quality of prescription in terms of comprehensiveness of the treatment plan.Speciality Clinics: In order to provide protocolised, multifaceted management with robust follow-up mechanisms for children with chronic diseases, the department runs sub-speciality clinics in form of Pediatric Pulmonology Clinic (pediatric asthma clinic-started in august 2015& registered 300 children by now), Pediatric Nephrology Clinic (started in September 2016, 80 children registered so far) and Neonatal Follow-up Clinic (started in September 2016, 100 children registered so far) & pediatric immunization clinic(started in September 2016, 200 children registered so far) and pediatric TB clinic(started in September 2016, 100 children registered so far)Inpatient services: The Department has consolidated its indoor services with 350 patients getting admitted in the year 2016 and while till September 2017, around 300 patients have received care at our inpatient facility. The services are evolving to address unmet need of multi-disciplinary evaluation and management of a sick child. The recognition from the Institute for hygiene and cleanliness of department’s inpatient facility under Swachhta Abhiyan on the occasion Gandhi Jayanti 2017, is reflective of our collective zeal to provide the best facilities to the masses.Neonatal Unit: The department runs a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to provide acute care to neonates. More than 200 neonates born in AIIMS Rishikesh were treated in this NICU & >30 neonates were ventilated and received tertiary level neonatal care since January 2016.50% of the neonates were premature& 30% were low birth weight.Academics:Undergraduate Curriculum: Department of Pediatrics at AIIMS, Rishikesh provides a comprehensive curriculum for undergraduates inculcating modules like Facility Based Integrated Management of Neonatal & Childhood Illnesses (FIMNCI), Facility Based Neonatal Care (FBNC), Pediatric Basic & Advanced Life Support (ALS), aimed at producing medical graduates capable of rejuvenating country’s child health services. First batch of Undergraduates were passed in Pediatrics in December 2016 with 100% pass percentage& also the supplementary batch which appeared in feb-2017 has 100% pass percentage. Every month various batches of MBBS students get training in paediatrics & its sub-specialities.Postgraduate Curriculum: The department has started Postgraduate program in 2017 July with 8 PG students joined. The curriculum is a meticulous amalgamation of monitored training inwards & OPDs along with numerous academic sessions designed as seminars, case discussions, protocol discussions and journal club meetings. These sessions are meant to keep abreast with new guidelines & recommendations to fulfil the mandate of evidence based medicine in patient care and also are stepping stones for creation of indigenous protocols suited to the Institute’s needs.PhD Curriculum: Two candidates are currently registered with the department’s PhD programme started in July 2017Super-speciality curriculum: DM in neonatology course would be starting from January 2018 in AIIMS, Rishikesh.Research: Meaningful scientific research is a key goal of department’s academics in synchrony with the Institute’s mandate. More than 7 research projects have been started in Department of Pediatrics.Future Plans: The department is working towards the broad vision of establishing a pediatric centre of excellence with all sub-specialities expected at a tertiary care centre so that we fulfil the expectations of this hitherto underserved region. We also envision building academic credentials of unparalleled repute in research and training. The major emphasis areas are:
Increasing the number of sub-speciality clinics and their consolidation as individual units (medical genetics clinic, immunology clinic & epilepsy clinic will be started in near future).
Consolidating neonatal services for out-born neonates
Strengthening our capabilities to provide pediatric intensive care and acute pediatric services
The Department of Paediatrics is publishing a monthly newsletter for faculty and residents. The newsletter is related to genealogical parlance and deliberate attempt to enhance awareness for genetic disorders with recent updates.