An Apple a Day…
After completing medical school in Russia in 1990, pediatrician Nadezhda Magarina continued her training at St. Joseph Hospital in Paris in the allergy and dermatology department. Today Dr. Magarina is part of the team at GMS clinic in Moscow. She is also a member of the American College of Pediatricians.
As pervy zvonok (first bell) signals the return to school of millions of children in the Moscow area, for parents, guardians, and pediatricians, the sound is a reminder of something else as well: cold and flu season is just around the corner.
For Russian children, the preparations for the beginning of the new school year started last spring with check-ups by school doctors and the filling out of voluminous health forms. By law, MMR (measles, bumps, rubella) and DPT vaccinations are required along with a tuberculosis test, eye exam, and blood work-up. Other tests may be performed as well, depending on the particulars of a child’s family medical history.
For international parents who rely on languages other than Russian or for parents who may want alternative or additional services, Dr. Magarina recommends you give her call. If you have brought your children’s medical records with you from your home country, they may require translation, which GMS can arrange. But if the records are more than a year old, then it’s time for a new check-up. The standard school-check-up at GMS takes about 1 ½ hours.
GMS Clinic’s new, state-of-the-art facility opened on August 15 with a 1000 sq. m. facility with facilities for Xray, laparoscopic surgery, MRI, operating rooms, and, of course, examination rooms. Familiar with current European and American standards, the clinic’s English-speaking staff reads widely and attends conferences in order to remain up-to-date. The clinic accepts major foreign medical insurance plans and can make referrals to specialists both in Russia and in other countries, such as Germany.
For New Arrivals
Recent arrivals to Moscow may find that their children may get sick a bit more than usual their first year living here. This is connected with, among other things, changes in climate and food. Dr. Magarina suggests a course of vitamin supplements twice a year – once in November, to keep immunity up when the cold weather sets in, and another in March – though more frequent vitamin supplements may be recommended, especially for picky eaters.
What You Can Do
There are simple steps you can take to help keep illness at bay while your child is adapting to the new environment. For example, Dr. Magarina recommends having play dates outdoors when possible, rather than at home, where illness-causing germs are more easily transmitted. Of course, Dr. Magarina says, specific recommendations must be tailored to the circumstances of each family, taking into account the change in climate between previous country of residence and Russia, travel and recreation habits, etc.
Some adults may remember the licecheck as an annual feature of grade school. Dr. Magarina says, however, that lice are generally not a big problem here, partially because of climate and partially because of more effective shampoos that are available today. But it’s always a good idea to check.
Ask Plenty of Questions
Go ahead and check the Internet. Many parents arrive at the clinic having researched their child’s health issues on the Internet. Dr. Magarina welcomes this, as she thinks it reflects engaged parenting and can lead to quicker diagnoses. So read up and ask plenty of questions. She can recommend reliable web sites and other resources.
GMS Clinic is located in Moscow at 11/13 Ul. Vtoraya-Yamskaya (M. Savyolovskaya, Rizhskaya).
Tel. (495) 781-5577.
You can also visit them at www.gmsclinic.ru.