Aster Hospitals UAE launch COSMOS, a Support Group for COVID Patients

A first of its kind initiative as rehabilitation emerges as a pressing need

Dubai (United Arab Emirates): Rehabilitation has emerged as the pressing need after recovery from traumatic COVID infection. In a first, Aster Hospitals in UAE has launched COSMOS, a support group for them.

The rising number of patient cases globally, supported by significant number of recoveries has brought to front the rehabilitation needs of COVID-19 recovered patients, who may have become deconditioned due to long-periods of isolation, mental-trauma caused by fear or uncertainty regarding the disease and long-periods of critical care requiring intubation or ventilator support, movement restrictions and related complications. To address this patient need, Aster Hospitals UAE, under the leadership of Dr Sherbaz Bichu, CEO – Aster Hospitals, UAE, has launched a patient support group entitled “COSMOS” which aims to address the holistic well-being of patients undergoing treatment at the hospital and help them manage their psychological and physiological challenges. The initiative was formally launched at a post COVID – 19 recovery session which was attended by patients who were treated and have recovered from COVID – 19 at Aster Hospitals UAE.

As a part of this initiative, a dedicated team will focus on motivating patients recovering in isolation,help them deal with mental trauma, feelings of anxiety, depression and loneliness through recovery sessions and aid themin post-discharge rehabilitation through physical therapy, nutrition advice and mental health support. ‘COSMOS’ – which stands for ‘Circle of Strength, Master of Self’ – provides a platform forCOVID-19 patients admitted at the hospitals to connect with each other, share their thoughts, participate in educative sessions and stay connected with their doctors, dieticians and family members through a digital application.

Speaking on the launch of COSMOS, Dr Sherbaz Bichu stated, “We have seen our patients go through various levels of mental stress – anxiety, fear, loneliness and depression brought about by separation from families and loved ones, and uncertainty regarding the outcome from this disease. Many of them are expats with families back in their home country who are even otherwise constantly worried. For them, sustained motivation and support in channeling their emotional stress is a key factor in the holistic recovery process. Patients who have undergone long periods of intensive care often require psychological support and nutritional diet to regain strength and psychological normalcy. COSMOS is our effort to ensure that our patients return home completely healed.”

To commemorate the launch of this exclusive support group, a recovery session was hosted at Aster Hospital, Qusais which was attended by COVID-19 recovered patients who have been treated at the Aster Hospitals in UAE. The session was aimed at discussing about post-COVID care as well as the importance of mental health. The session concluded with recovered patients sharing their COVID recovery experience with Aster Hospital and seeking advice from the doctors on further care.

Speaking about the session, Dr Malathi Arshanapalai, Group Chief Medical & Quality Officer at Aster DM Healthcareadded, “It is a truly humbling experience to see our recovered patients attend this session and share their COVID journey with Aster Hospitals. It gives me immense pleasure that we are able to go beyond medical treatment and support our patients in their holistic recovery and delivering upon our promise of – We’ll Treat You Well.”

The ‘COSMOS’initiative will include educative sessions, friendly conversations, interactive games among others, in designated lobbies within the COVID zone ward for positive patients to come together. They will also have access to a digital application that will allow them to connect with their doctors, dieticians as well as family members. Post recovery they will also be aided with physical rehabilitation, nutritional guidance and psychological counselling as needed.


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