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Medical students at NUI Galway to host 16th Teddy Bear Hospital

NUI Galway medical students are inviting children to attend their award-winning Teddy Bear Hospital, which will take place online next Saturday, 17 April from 12pm to 3pm.

Over the past 16 years, children have attended the hospital with teddy bears suffering from sore ears, sick tummies and all kinds of other weird and wonderful ailments.

This year, children’s appointments will be carried out virtually, and the students will educate the children about how to treat their sick teddy at home.

Pictured (L-R) are Andrea Dimitrov and Tristiana Dalchand, second year medical students from NUI Galway and organisers of the Teddy Bear Hospital, with “Super Mario” robot. The robot is part of the Care Connect project which is being used in the Galway University Hospital’s Paediatric Unit as a communication platform for children and their families while visiting restrictions are in place. Photo by Aengus McMahon.

The event is organised by the Sláinte Society – NUI Galway’s health promotion society which focuses on promoting all aspects of physical and mental health.

Up to 50 medical, healthcare and science students will diagnose and treat the teddy bears, and in the process, they hope to help children aged between 4 and 8 feel more comfortable around doctors and hospitals.

“Given the current circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic, we believe it’s really important to maintain engagement with as many children as possible through the Teddy Bear Hospital,” said Tristiana Dalchand, second year Medical student at NUI Galway and co-auditor of Sláinte Society.

“We hope to remind children and their teddies that the doctor’s office and hospitals remain a fun, comfortable, and safe space.”

On arrival at the virtual Teddy Bear Hospital, participants and patients will be greeted by two teddy doctor specialists.

The children and their bears will learn how to take care of teddy bear health through three main themes: general health, lifestyle, and emotional wellbeing.

Andrea Dimitrov, second year Medical student at NUI Galway, added: “Covid-19 has been challenging for all of us and we hope to provide an engaging, fun, and educational event that the children can participate in and interact with each other.

“This pandemic has highlighted the importance of community, and we hope to continue bringing the community together through the Teddy Bear Hospital.”

Due to limited capacity of this year’s virtual Teddy Bear Hospital, Sláinte Society are also holding a drawing contest.

Children are encouraged to submit a drawing of themselves and their teddies to be in with a chance of winning one of two €50 vouchers for Smyths Toy Store.

To enter the drawing contest, please email submissions to tbh.drawing.contest@gmail.com and include, name, age, and hometown. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 April, and the two winners will be announced on Saturday, 17 April.
Places for the virtual Teddy Bear Hospital are limited. To apply to attend the hospital please visit www.nuigalway.ie/teddybearhospital by 5pm on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Those selected to attend will be contacted by Thursday, 15 April.
Michael Malone
To get in touch with Galway Daily, email editor@galwaydaily.com
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