Asia: statements of support
Dr. Shams El Arifeen, Director, The Centre for Child and Adolescent Health, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, at ICDDR,B (icddr,b)
Dr. Lulu Bravo, Professor of Paediatric Infectious and Tropical Diseases, University of the Philippines, Philippines
Professor Eng Hout, Secretary of State for Health, Ministry of Health, Cambodia
Dr. Gagandeep Kang, Professor and Head, Wellcome Trust Research Laboratory, Division of Gastrointestinal Sciences, Christian Medical College, India
Tony Nelson, Professor of Paediatrics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Dr. Samir Saha, Executive Director, The Child Health Research Foundation and Professor, Dhaka Shishu Hospital, Bangladesh
Dr. Naveen Thacker, President-elect, Asia Pacific Paediatric Association and Standing Committee Member, International Paediatric Association, India
Dr. Yonghang Yang, Beijing Children’s Hospital
"Given that icddr,b's history is rooted in the discovery of oral rehydration solution and zinc in the treatment of diarrhoea, it is very gratifying that there is global momentum behind scale-up of these essential interventions in saving the lives of children,” said Dr. Shams El Arifeen, director of the Centre for Child and Adolescent Health at ICDDR,B.
“The prevention of disease continues to be a focus for the Philippines. In 2012, we became the first country in Southeast Asia to introduce rotavirus vaccines, which protect children from diarrhoea and the outlook for 2013 is equally promising as we prepare to introduce pneumococcal conjugate vaccines, which protect children from pneumonia,” said Dr. Lulu Bravo, professor of paediatric infectious and tropical diseases, University of the Philippines Manila. “These vaccines, which are already saving the lives of children around the world every day, will make a huge impact for our children and they are just two of the proven interventions included in the new Global Action Plan.”
“The Ministry of Health Cambodia supports the Development of Global Action Plan for Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (GAPPD) which will be launched on the 12th April, 2013 in Washington and London.
Since 2000, the Ministry of Health, Cambodia has been working on integrating our programs and policies to improve prevention and treatment of diarrhea and pneumonia, and we are proud of our coordinated policies, improved access to care at the community level, and the implementation of integrated trainings for Village Health Volunteers (VHV). The Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Treament of Pneumonia and Diarrhea is an important framework to help all countries provide the package of prevention and treatment solutions for diarrhea and pneumonia to protect children everywhere.
We believe that integrated policy and programs for diarrhea and pneumonia lead to improved and more coordinated service provision and that this will ultimately lead to improvements in health outcomes for children. We have witnessed first-hand the positive impacts of integrating programming related to these two diseases. As we move closer to 2015 we are keen to see concerted efforts aimed at improving the health of children to ensure that we meet MDG4. We are excited about the launch of the GAPPD as this helps to re-focus efforts on diarrhea and pneumonia and it provides a framework for integrated action to tackle the two leading killers of children under 5.”
“Too many of our children are dying from diseases that can be prevented,” said Dr. Gagandeep Kang, professor and head of the Wellcome Trust Research Laboratory in the Division of Gastrointestinal Sciences at the Christian Medical College in India. “Vaccines, exclusive breastfeeding, better nutrition, handwashing with soap, these are just a few of the tools we have at our disposal to protect children from pneumonia and diarrhoea.”
“Pneumonia and diarrhoea are leading causes of death globally in children under the age of 5 years. In Hong Kong, we are fortunate that very few children die from these diseases. Nonetheless, for Hong Kong children under the age of five, approximately 1 in 10 hospital admissions are due to diarrhoea, 1 in 15 to pneumonia, 1 in 35 to rotavirus diarrhoea and another 1 in 35 to influenza,” said Tony Nelson, professor in paediatrics at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. “What many parents don’t realize is that a lot of these admissions could have been prevented with the use of two simple measures recommended by the GAPPD: exclusive breastfeeding and use of vaccines. We could also simplify diarrhoea treatment with greater use of oral rehydration solution. Preventing unnecessary hospital admissions would not only improve the quality of life for our children and families but could also save money within our health care system. Our challenge is to help all Hong Kong people – our mothers, fathers, grandparents, health professionals and policy makers – really value breastfeeding and ensure that all children be vaccinated against rotavirus and pneumonia.”
“As Bangladesh prepares to introduce pneumococcal conjugate vaccines, which protects children from pneumonia, I am proud of the commitment my country has made to saving children’s lives. It is a profound step forward,” said Dr. Samir Saha, executive director of the Child Health Research Foundation and Professor at Dhaka Shishu Hospital in Bangladesh. “But I know there is more we can do to protect our children from both pneumonia and diarrhoea. Vaccines are just one of the many powerful, tools we have to protect our children and we must use every tool we have at our disposal.”
“We know what happens when the world comes together to take on killer diseases,” said Dr. Naveen Thacker, president-elect, Asia Pacific Pediatric Association and standing committee member, International Pediatric Association. “We’ve eliminated the threat of small pox and we are drawing close to eradicating polio. Pneumonia and diarrhoea could be next, if we come together again to take action now by prioritising and implementing the integrated approach laid out in the GAPPD.”
“China is counted among the top 10 countries in the world with the greatest number of childhood deaths from pneumonia and diarrhoea,” said Dr. Yonghang Yang, Beijing Children’s Hospital. ”We can and must do better for our children. From simple solutions like handwashing with soap to more innovative approaches like vaccines, we have the power to protect our children from pneumonia and diarrhoea and put a stop to these needless deaths.”