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March 21, 2012

Addressing Global Child Health Priorities around the World

Dr. Joy Lawn from Cape Town, South Africa and a panel of speakers from the Canadian health-care community discuss ‘Inequities in Perinatal Health’
Dr. Joy Lawn from Cape Town, South Africa and a panel of speakers from the Canadian health-care community discuss ‘Inequities in Perinatal Health'

SickKids’ celebrated its 6th Annual Global Child Health Day as over 125 health-care professionals, researchers, development workers and community members interested in global child health gathered in the Daniels Hollywood Theatre on February 15, 2012.

“Global Child Health Day is about exploring global child health priorities and strategies to inform professionals and members of the public about diseases and deaths of millions of children world-wide,” says Dr. Alvin Zipursky, who was a member of the event’s planning committee.

Setting the tone for the event was keynote speaker Dr. Joy Lawn from Cape Town, South Africa, who spoke about the progress and future priorities of newborn survival around the world. Lawn, who is Director, Global Evidence and Policy, Saving Newborn Lives for Save the Children USA, spoke movingly about her own personal experience with newborn survival.

The lunch-hour networking opportunity featured a photo exhibit representing personal interpretations of global child health, submitted by SickKids staff, community members and event participants. The photos represented regions around the world, including North and South America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

“I found the photos to be quite engaging,” says event participant Rekha Sadasiva from Dignitas International. “They really highlight the range in health opportunities for children around the world, as well as the progress that has been made in global health and development.”

Event speaker and participant, Helen Dimaras, views the Global Child Health Day photo exhibit during the lunch networking session.
Event speaker and participant, Helen Dimaras, views the Global Child Health Day photo exhibit during the lunch networking session.

The day also included a panel discussion on inequities in perinatal health and a variety of presentations from emerging leaders at SickKids. The presentations given by the Hospital’s emerging leaders were a testimony to the organization’s dedication and commitment towards attracting up-and- coming experts in research, education and clinical expertise pertaining to global child health.