The Paediatric Unit within the British Virgin Islands Health Services Authority aims to educate and inform the Virgin Islands community on caring for the youngest population in the Territory for the entire month of December.
Paediatrics is the branch of medicine that deals with the health and welfare of infants, children and adolescents from birth to the age of 18. The paediatrician is a medical specialist that serves as the primary physician for the paediatric population. The paediatrician assesses growth and development, manages medical diseases, and ensures the welfare of the child. They are child advocates that also provide support for caregivers and the child, as the child transitions to adulthood.
The British Virgin Islands Health Services Authority currently employs three paediatricians. These are Dr. Natasha Frett, Dr. Arnel Soller, and Dr. Christian Ugwuagu.
Speaking with Dr. Frett, she stated “It is common practice for children to visit the paediatrician only when there is a medical, behavioral or academic concern. However, this practice is discouraged, as very often the child presents with advanced disease or conditions of concern. It is highly recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, that children have regular scheduled well child visits with their paediatricians. These visits screen for medical and developmental conditions. Early diagnosis of conditions enables early intervention that can be life-saving or improve the quality of life.”
The Paediatric Unit at BVIHSA, during the month of December, will be educating the public through local media releases, radio and television programmes. This information aims to enlighten parents and caregivers on preventative medicine for the paediatric population.