Session Chairs: Margaret Lynch, MD, DCH, FRCP, FRCPCH, and Thomas Tonniges, MD, FAAP
Speakers: Nick Spencer, MD, and David Wood, MD, MPH, FAAP
This meeting has had quite a long gestation. The first seeds were sown when I attended an American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) meeting in Washington, DC, in 1996 to take part in a special human rights session that Jeff Goldhagen, MD, had organized. It became apparent then that the Royal College of Paediatrics and the AAP had common interests in community pediatrics and in public and international health. Since then, I have come to know and respect the work of the AAP in relation to child advocacy and community pediatrics.
The reason for the equity theme we have chosen is that currently the United States and the United Kingdom share last place among developed countries for the level of relative child poverty, yet our associations both take a holistic view of children’s health and are acutely aware of the effects of poverty on health, so it seems right that we work together in finding ways to mitigate these effects.
It was during a visit by Thomas Tonniges, MD, to the United Kingdom several years ago that our Prime Minister Tony Blair made a commitment to end child poverty within 20 years. Therefore, we have in the United Kingdom a sense of political direction to support our health service work. Hence, we should now “seize the hour, seize the time” to advance this vital cause and find a way to collaborate in research, education, and the practice of child health.
The following 2 presentations by Nick Spencer, MD, and David Wood, MD, on the social, political, and economic determinants of child health will provide an introduction and framework for the issues that will confront us and with which we will deal during this meeting.AAP, American Academy of Pediatrics