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Q&A with IPA 2019 speakers

We are proud to welcome speakers from around the globe who will discuss various aspects of pediatrics at the congress. From lessons learned to efforts being set forth, lots of great content will be shared. With the excitement building, we'd like to share with you a Q&A that we've had with some of these world renowned speakers coming to Panama. 

"What lessons learned in your research or organizational efforts will perceptibly improve global child health?"

Dr. Pramod Jog

"In 1984, I came across a UNICEF report titled 'No more Polio in Brazil'. Polio was a major problem in India in those years. Inspired by the nation-wide, methodical campaign undertaken in Brazil, I organized & implemented a program called 'Goodbye Polio' in Pune, India following the principle of Immunization Days. It used the innovative ideas of enrolling Postmen to find out drop-outs in immunization, during their door to door visits & using computers to record the names and addresses of the families. Parents who did not show up for the second dose were traced using this system, further reducing the drop outs. Slums, villages & hard to reach areas were covered & the program eventually became a people's movement. 12 years later, the Government of India started the hugely successful national Pulse Polio campaign following the principle of National Immunization Days (NIDs). This has been one of the major factors in the eradication of polio in India.The success stories of countries which have eradicated polio can be utilized by countries which have not yet eradicated polio."

"Under my leadership as President of the  Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP), IAP Immunizeindia became the most successful vaccination reminder program ever, with close to 2 million children enrolled!"

Dr. David L. Hill 

"Global development is proceeding at an unprecedented pace, meaning that once-isolated communities all over the world are gaining reliable electricity, clean water, and improved shelter. They are also gaining access to Internet-connected devices and Western-style programming and advertising. This is a perfect moment for families, communities, and governments to take lessons learned about the risks and benefits of electronic media use and apply them to optimize children's sleep, diet, learning, and social environments, hopefully avoiding some of the dangers that widespread media adoption have visited on children in the more developed world."

Dr. Susana De Leon

"After years in private practice and working with NGO’s, there are key lessons learned: health at any age is not complete without mental health, which begins to be shaped from day one in life for sure, if not before. However, mental and emotional health are neglected, sometimes because stigma surrounds mental health issues in children too. Thus, promotion and education, prevention, early diagnosis, and intervention of neuropsychiatric and behavioral problems should be a priority. Social determinants like poverty, war, natural catastrophes, trauma, and abuse can turn vulnerability into illness. Often children get help late, when windows of opportunity have been compromised, and comorbidity is complex, making outcomes less positive.

In order to truly improve children’s mental health we need not only resources and public policies that make children a priority, and look after these issues. It’s a challenge that can’t be carried out alone; we need everyone’s participation: parents and caregivers, schools, medical & mental health professionals, and the community at large."

Dr. Christine Chambers

"I’m a believer in the power of partnerships. The challenges we face in child health are too great to face alone. We need to look outside to seek non-traditional partners. This approach is what made our #ItDoesntHaveToHurt initiative to help children with pain so successful."

Dr. Xavier Saez-Llorens 




"During the past 20 years I have been the PI of many multicenter vaccine trials (pneumococcus, rotavirus, meningococcus, influenza, RSV, pertussis, norovirus, dengue, and polio) conducted in children from Panama. These studies have not only characterized the epidemiology and burden of disease, but more importantly, the safety and efficacy of these preventive vaccines, in order to improve the global child health in our region and worldwide. The polio research is focused in the endgame strategy to eradicate disease in the world." (sponsored by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)."