A team of Ternopil State Medical University doctors brought outpatient care to children in rural area

A team of pediatric doctors from Ternopil State Medical University have visited little patients in the village Uvysla. Assistant professors of pediatric diseases and pediatric surgery Tamara Vorontsova (team leader), Liubov Volianska, Vira Synytska, Pavlo Hoshchynskyi, assistant professor of otorhinolaryngology, ophthalmology and neurosurgery Kateryna Aleksevych and neurologist Volodymyr Musienko examined the children and consulted their parents.

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Nearly 400 boys and girls live in Uvysla, including about 300 children under the age of 14. The nearest medical clinic is located in the district capital, 20 kilometers away. This means that parent would have to pay transportation costs and spend time waiting in queues to see a specialist doctor. Thus, village residents were grateful have delivered the pediatric help right to their doorstep.

In the previous few years TSMU was involved in setting up a family medicine outpatient clinic and an academic training center for primary health care in Uvysla, improving access of its residents to medical care. The University also outfitted a dentist’s office, where a dentist gives exams and consultations. A cardiologist, gynecologist, and neurologist come to the village every week. Village residents also welcome medical interns and students, whose care and assistance make their life easier.

Team leader of the mobile pediatric group, associate professor of the Department of Children’s Diseases Tamara Vorontsova, said that this time ” the specialists saw about 100 children. Medical exams of the children, in general, were positive. In most cases, there were no serious health problems that would require hospitalization. Disorders that were detected, were, mostly, due to diseases of the vascular and digestive systems. Three children were diagnosed with thyroid disorders. It was nice to note the beautiful condition of children’s teeth. “

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Dr. Tamara Vorontsova also commented on the high professional level of the academic training center for primary health care staff.

Dr. Liubov Volianska diagnosed several gastrointestinal disorders, suggesting diet deficiencies. In her experience, this, unfortunately, is not an uncommon situation. Of the diagnosed children, three little patients had acute metabolic disorders.

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In some instances children’s parents were not aware that something might be wrong with their child, since some of the little patients had not previously have such a comprehensive exam.

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Vice-rector for research, teaching and clinical work, professor Stepan Zaporozhan noted that “medical and diagnostic care for children is a priority of public health. When the healthcare system as a whole is undergoing large-scale reforms, it is necessary to ensure that children have uninterrupted access to quality outpatient medical care.”

“Unfortunately, most parents turn to the district pediatrician or family doctor only when the child’s illness reaches acute or chronic stages. Some parents bring children to see the doctor, for example, only before the start of school year. Thus, very few go to the doctors for help in preventing disease. And sometimes, given the physician’s workload they might not be able to get an exhaustive answer to all parents’ questions.”

“This is why we created a specialized mobile pediatric team, in order to bring the highly skilled pediatric help to children of rural areas. “

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Last year, the pediatric team had eight trips, during which the doctors saw 599 children, including 38 babies. First-time diagnosis was given in 298 cases (49.7%). The high rate of diagnosed disorders was because the team mostly went to villages with no vacant family doctor posts. 106 children (17.7%) were referred to the regional children’s outpatient clinic for further examination, and 34 children (5.7%) to the regional clinical hospital. Other small patients received prescriptions for outpatient treatment and recommendations for prevention and proper nutrition.

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