In Dubai, a teddy bear hospital to treat 'sick' teddies

Dubai - United Arab EmiratesUpdated: May 28, 2017, 11:20 AM IST

The idea behind such a hospital is to remove the fear of doctors from children. (Representative image) (Image source: Flickr) Photograph:(Others)

A teddy bear hospital has been launched in the UAE where children can check-in with their "sick" teddies, the first of its kind facility in the UAE to help minors overcome anxiety while seeing a doctor.

In the opening session, teddy bears underwent a "CT scan", and were led into the surgery ward to get anaesthetics before their operation.

The Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU) here houses the hospital which is a part of a programme designed to teach school children hands-on about medical procedures and to decrease any preconceived fears of doctor visits, Khaleej Times reported.

Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum attended the first session of the hospital along with four children.

The Teddy Bear Hospital session kicked off with the children changing into their personalised scrubs.

Then they were led to the Simulation Centre by the team and a number of MBRU medical students where they checked-in their teddy bears into the hospital.

Upon admission, the children met the doctors to discuss their bear's medical situation. They awaited their respective teddy bear at the observation room where they were brought out with an intravenous (IV) drip and bandages.

They discussed with doctors their teddy's medical results after getting medical reports and the image from the CT scan.

The Teddy Bear Hospital merely began as an idea submitted to Mohammed Bin Rashid Smart Majlis titled "Create a class in school to treat sick toys", the report said.

The idea was then directed to Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) for review. After studying the initial idea, the KHDA directed it to the MBRU in order to study its feasibility.

The MBRU's simulation team re-engineered the initial idea and Teddy Bear Hospital came to life.

Helen Henderson, lead simulation educator at MBRU said: "Teddy Bear Hospital creates a unique educational opportunity for children across the UAE. It's a great initiative, and one of its kind in the country. The programme introduces children to the basics of healthcare through firsthand experiences where we aim to downplay the fear children experience when they go to hospitals".

"We want to diminish any negative feelings of anxiety the children experience when visiting a doctor. In the future we hope to tie this programme with the school curriculum, and make it a part of the overall education experience in the UAE," Henderson added.