Since its inception, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has been concerned with child health throughout the world. Although dramatic successes have been scored, the change of fundamental conditions necessary to produce major improvements in the lives and well being of children in many instances has not occurred. Morbidity and mortality rates for children remain tragically and unacceptably high. Low birth weight, malnutrition, preventable infections, waterborne diseases, diarrhea, alcohol and drug abuse, armed conflict, and other calamities take a heavy toll on children.
Efforts to help stem the tide of disabling and lethal diseases in children have been mounted by many private, public, and multinational agencies. The AAP applauds and supports UNICEF, the Child Survival Programs, and other agencies in their efforts to promote mass immunizations, develop safe water supplies, improve nutrition, and foster the delivery of health services to children worldwide. The Academy believes the ultimate key to improving primary health care for all children is the development of partnerships in service, education, research, and advocacy by pediatricians throughout the world. To achieve this goal, a Task Force on International Child Health was established in 1987 to make and implement recommendations for improving global child health. The task force was recently assigned provisional committee status.
The Academy's past international efforts have been principally focused in this hemisphere. Latin American countries were officially organized as districts and chapters in 1942, and a Committee on International Child Health was formed in the 1960s to facilitate collaboration between the United States and Latin American countries.
- Copyright © 1990 by the American Academy of Pediatrics