IAP sets New Goal Post for Curbing Infant Mortality

PEDICON 2015, the largest congregation of pediatrics in India

IAP sets New Goal Post for Curbing Infant Mortality

New Delhi, January 22:  Even as India is almost certain to fail in measuring up to UNO target of reducing infant mortality rate (IMR) by 2015-end, Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IPA) has set its own goal of reducing it to 20 per 1,000 live births by 2020.

Indian Academy of Pediatrics, apex body of Indian child specialists, in its inaugural of 52nd Annual Conference PEDICON 2015 on January 23, stated its intent of moving towards the goal of quality development of every child. It released its 2020 mission booklet that contains its avowed goal of working towards ensuring quality healthcare for every child. Saving the girl child, making standard growth chart for children to be universally adopted by its members, no vaccine preventable death, adoption of village for children’s health etc constitute its mission to realize vision of making children the most protected lot.

ManekaThe 4 day conference was inaugurated by Love Verma, Secretary  Health & Family Welfare, who expressed happiness at IAP’s mission statement of reducing infant mortality rate and government’s willingness to partner with the body to that end. He stressed urgent measures are needed to address infant mortality and the problems that afflict child health. He said, ‘For child you cannot say Tomorrow, his name is Today.’

The inaugural ceremony was marked also by a dance recital by world-renowned Kathak dancer, Shobhna Narayan and by a troupe of extremely talented special children. The breathtaking act mesmerized the audience present at the ceremony.

The issues set to be discussed included the gaps that exist in healthcare implementation, the lack of interface between public and private players, child survival strategy in a tribal set up and decoding of the IAP growth chart coming to the forefront. To encourage young talent, 40 scholarships would be awarded to young pediatricians presenting the free papers.

Speaking about PEDICON 2015, Dr. Ajay Gambhir, Organizing Chairperson of the conference said, “We are happy and proud to announce that over 8000 delegates are attending the conference, thus, making PEDICON the largest conference on Pediatrics in India. We have over 800 free paper presentations, 150 free paper oral presentations, 650 poster presentations and this year we have introduced E posters too.”

Adding to this, Dr Anupam Sachdev, Organizing Secretary, PEDICON 2015 said, ‘The conference is an excellent platform for knowledge sharing. A convention of such scale wherein doctors from all across the country have come together would surely help in bringing forward the latest technology and advancements happening in the arena of pediatrics.’

Dr. S. S. Kamath (President, IAP) said, ‘It is unfortunate that India has the highest new born mortality. What is more concerning is the fact that the health budget has come down and in the healthcare field, 30% goes in manpower development. Also, India is not getting enough pediatricians in spite of increasing medical seats because people are choosing to go for specializations like radiology and other fields instead. Thus, PEDICON provides a good opportunity to bring together the leading healthcare experts in the field of pediatrics who can brainstorm about the future of healthcare and more specifically pediatric healthcare.’

Dr. Krishan Chugh (Organising Chairperson, IAP), ‘Quality development of every child is only possible when quality medical care is provided at every point in their lives, both when they are unwell and when they are healthy. While to some extent the private sector has succeeded in achieving this, it is only possible to attain International standards of medical care when there is a strong public private partnership. I really hope that we can in the coming future work towards building highly advanced children’s hospitals based on this model.’

Recognizing the importance of skill and educational training for doctors and the lack of available public sector programs for the same, a special focus was given to these in the pre-conference and inaugural sessions. As a pre-conference initiative, about 40 workshops on skill training were held at various reputed hospitals of Delhi NCR on subjects like primary immunodeficiency for practicing pediatricians, computers in pediatric practice and the role of imaging & ultrasound in pediatric intensive care. On the inaugural day, 7 parallel Continuing Medical Education (CME) programs were held wherein National and International experts discussed topics like immunology of vaccines, status of adolescent health in India, social media and internet addiction and congenital diaphragmatic hernia among many others.

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IAP supports Beti Bachao- Beti Padhao mission

On Day 2 of Pedicon, IAP expressed full support to PM Modi’s Beti Bachao – Beti Padhao (save girl child-educate girl child).

Addressing IAP conclave, Ms. Maneka Gandhi, Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development, said, ‘Our Government has just launched the national program of Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao campaign wherein the Government will take various initiatives to save the girl child. It is a cause of concern for us that the sex ratio has gone down to 914 females per 1,000 males. Although we assure that we will take every possible step at our end, it is very important for each and every woman to stand up for their own rights at an individual level. Women sensitization is something that we need to focus on. Women are the ones who should be instrumental in changing the mindset of people regarding the imbalanced sex ratio, prevention of female feticide, need for a girl child’s safety and education and empowerment of women.’

Dr. Ajay Gambhir, Organizing Chairperson of the conference said, ‘There has been a decline in infant and neonatal mortality rates in our country but the rates are still relatively high in urban slums and rural areas. We are certain that the largest gathering of pediatrics in India would help in coming up with the most recent progressions in the field of pediatric healthcare thus ensuring better healthcare management. Our continued efforts would be in the direction of providing a disease free and healthy atmosphere to the children of India.

On the 2nd day of the 4-day conference, sessions on varied topics related to pediatrics were discussed. Some of the topics were common errors in antibiotic practices, intergrowth study – The New Foetal Growth Charts, Genetic & Metabolic Evaluation of Epilepsy.

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