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Center for Global Health Leads Revision of Pediatrics in Disasters Training to Address Needs of Refugees and Children in High Conflict Areas

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The Colorado School of Public Health's Center for Global Health announced today the rollout of a revised Pediatrics in Disasters (PEDs) training program, which trains healthcare and humanitarian workers to prioritize life-saving care for children in disasters. 

The revision of the course focuses more directly on sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East – where there has been an increase in conflict, refugees and displaced populations. The initial PEDs training program targeted Latin America and the Caribbean. Some of the updates include treatment of viruses such as Ebola; updates for nutrition and management of malnutrition; updates to the WHO's Integrated Case Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI); integration of Helping Babies Breathe® into the newborn module; and updated recommendations for treating malaria. 

"Because of the vulnerability of children and adolescents, health professionals must ensure that local, regional and national disaster preparedness planning meets this population's specific needs, which are different from adult populations," said Stephen Berman, MD, FAAP, Course Director for all Pediatrics in Disasters trainings held around the world and Director of the Center for Global Health at the Colorado School of Public Health in partnership with Children's Hospital Colorado. "Our hope with the PEDs training is that humanitarian response organizations will utilize our materials in advance of a crisis so they are better prepared to address these needs." 

The Center for Global Health developed the PEDs training curriculum to be taken online or in person. Since 2012, the PEDs training program has been held every October or November in Colorado at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Participants include medical, nursing and public health students, residents, fellows and faculty, as well as physicians and health professionals from around the world. Additionally, between 2008 and 2015, 24 PEDs training courses have been held in 16 low and middle-income countries throughout Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa. 

"A quarter of the world's population is under the age of five, so it is no surprise that 50 percent of the victims of man-made and natural disasters are children," added Dr. Berman. "Children are particularly vulnerable in high conflict areas for physiological, psychological and developmental reasons. Too often medical staff are ill-prepared for pediatric triage and emergency stabilization in terms of knowledge and experience, as well as equipment and supplies." 

Last year, facilitators taught the PEDs training program to healthcare and humanitarian workers in Kenya, Mexico, Argentina and Colorado. The Center for Global Health team hopes to conduct trainings in Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya in the coming next year.   

There will be a minimal charge of $25.00 for the revised online training. If a participant wishes to obtain a certificate of successful completion the cost is $100.00. However, international agencies, such as non-governmental organizations, with local health professionals who cannot pay the minimal charge may request to take the course at no charge. Each of these requests will be decided on an individual basis. For more information visit: Pediatrics in Disasters.

Read the story at PR Newswire.