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Helpline for childhood neuro-developmental disorders launched

New Delhi: Help is just a phone call away for parents with children with neurological disorders, as All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Thursday launched a helpline to help parents cope with such medical emergencies.
The round-the-clock toll-free helpline and tele-consultation service for childhood neurodevelopmental disorders was launched by Union Minister of State for Health Anupriya Patel.
"The toll-free helpline 1800-11-7776 will be managed by four trained nurse counsellors and they will work under the supervision of resident doctors and faculty of the pediatric department," officials said.
AIIMS will also provide tele-consultation services on the same number for children aged between one month and 18 years.
"Any parent or caregiver of a child with any neurological problems can obtain free information or guidance by calling up the National Child Neurology helpline," Professor of Pediatric Neurology Sheffali Gulati said.
She added, "More than half of the patients seeking pediatric consultations have neurodevelopmental disorders. The interplay of multiple social and demographic factors in the developing world adversely influence childhood neurodevelopment."
"This may get translated into impaired long-term neurocognitive outcome, significant losses to work force and impeded national development.
"These morbidities often get ignored as public health priorities because of lack of indigenous evidence," Gulati said.
The objective of starting the helpline and tele-consultation service is to answer the queries of parents and care providers of all infants, children and adolescents aged one to 18 years and also to make a digital registry of the queries put forth by the parents and the answers provided to them.
Patel said, "With improvement in survival of sick newborns and reduction in under five child mortality rate, there is a paradigm shift from improved survival to looking at the neurodevelopmental challenges in these children."
"As most of these disorders last a life span, the helpline and tele-consultation service will help in improving the quality of life of families with such children," she added.
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