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Programme for Global Paediatric Research

A Heritage of Impactful Programs to Enhance Global Child Health Systems

Over the course of a decade, the Programme for Global Paediatric Research (PGPR) has worked to elevate research and advocacy related to health issues facing children in resource-poor environments through symposia and workshops held within the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) and in countries across the world.

Together, PGPR developed a collaborative approach that brought together a diverse and multidisciplinary community of researchers and clinicians dedicated to improving health outcomes for children around the world. In addition PGPR established The Global Sickle Cell Disease Network, and the Global Prevention of Kernicterus Network.

During 2013-2014, much of the work of PGPR has been integrated into the SickKids Centre for Global Child Health. Many of PGPR’s unique initiatives and objectives will continue, within the Centre for Global Child Health.

Bringing Experts Together through Professional Symposia and Workshops

PGPR conducted a ten-year series of international symposia and professional workshops. The flagship PGPR annual symposium was held in conjunction with the annual PAS meeting, the largest international meeting focused on research in child health. Through these symposia and workshops PGPR has raised awareness about the need for study of particular diseases and conditions that affect children in resource-poor environments, and facilitated discussion on sustainable solutions and effective implementation strategies.

Previous symposia and workshop areas of focus include:

  • Lessons Learned from Indigenous Health Research and Practice (2014)
  • Major Global Diseases of Childhood: Training for Sustainable Clinical Care and Research (2013)
  • The Global Crisis of Childhood Diarrhoea (2012)
  • Implementation of Global Maternal-Child Health Programs (2011)
  • Developing and Delivering Better Health for Every Child (2010)
  • Neonatal Hyperbilirubinemia (2009)
  • Advancing Sickle Cell Disease Patient Care (2009)
  • Children and Armed Conflict (2008)
  • The Effect of Environmental Pollutants on Fetal and Child Development: A Global Issue (2007)
  • Disease and Development (2007)
  • Perinatal Asphyxia and Stillbirth (2006)
  • Neonatal Infectious Diseases (2006)
  • Birth Asphyxia (2005)
  •  Micronutrient Deficiency, Malaria and Tuberculosis (2004)

Further major events included “Born Too Soon: The Global Action Report on Preterm Birth - a SickKids Global Health Discussion Forum,” Toronto, 2012. The “Born Too Soon,” video presentation series is available for you to watch here

For more information regarding PGPR international symposia and professional workshops, including to request copies of expert presentations or working group reports, please contact: globalchild.health@sickkids.ca

The PGPR Award - Recognising Leadership in Global Child Health

The PGPR Award for Outstanding Contributions to Global Child Health (PGPR Award) (2009-2014) was established to recognize outstanding research achievements and contributions toward advancing child health in resource-poor environments.

Previous reward recipients include:

  • Mark W. Kline M.D. (2014). Watch the video of Dr. Kline’s presentation: “Sustainable Program Development in Paediatric AIDS,” 2013.
  • Professor Joy Lawn (2013). Watch the video of Professor Lawn’s keynote presentation: “Is Newborn Survival Growing Up?” 2013.
  • Roger Glass M.D. (2012)
  • César Gomes Victora (2011). View Dr. Victora’s 2011 PGPR Award address presentation: “The Catch up Dilemma: Lasting Effects of Early Nutrition,” 2011.
  • Robert Black M.D. (2010). View Professor Black’s 2010 PGPR Award address presentation: “Zinc Deficiency and Childhood Diarrhoea,” 2010.
  • Professor Zulfiqar Bhutta (2009)

The Award for Outstanding Contributions to Global Child Health will be taking a hiatus for 2014 while a transition to new governance is determined.

Promoting Improved Child Health through Knowledge and Networks

PGPR fostered and facilitated international expert networks engaged in targeting specific critical diseases. These specialist networks enhance international collaboration and work to inform, advocate for and galvanize action at the international level. The networks also provide a forum to strengthen international cooperation among expert members through establishing platforms to share information and opportunities, and take forward collaborations in designing and implementing research and programming. Both the Global Sickle Cell Disease Network and Global Prevention of Kernicterus Network will continue.

Global Sickle Cell Disease Network (GSCDN)

Sickle cell disease is a hereditary blood disorder due to an abnormal haemoglobin – the protein that carries oxygen to cells. GSCDN brings together leading sickle cell disease researchers and clinicians from high-, middle- and low-income countries to work together to improve the outcomes and quality of life for children living with sickle cell. Under the leadership of the GSCDN Medical Director, Dr. Isaac Odame, GSCDN works to develop research studies that help clarify the scope of the problem of sickle cell disease around the world; determine the most effective, efficient ways to treat sickle cell disease in low-income settings; implement solutions that fit the communities they serve; and help to establish and support clinical care and research coordinating centres within Africa and the Caribbean.

Global Prevention of Kernicterus Network (GlobalPKN)

For infants in developing countries, jaundice is under diagnosed, under treated, and often develops into severe jaundice, resulting in brain damage (called kernicterus) and even death. Under the leadership of Medical Director, Dr. Vinod K. Bhutani of Stanford University School of Medicine, and Dr. Alvin Zipursky, of SickKids, GlobalPKN is focused on advancing research and evidence-based solutions toward the prevention and eradication of kernicterus around the world and working alongside communities in low and middle income countries to develop sustainable methods of detection and prevention.