The World Health Organisation (WHO) designated the University of St Andrews' School of Medicine as its Collaborating Centre for International Child and Adolescent Health Policy (WHO CC) in October 2013. This prestigious appointment endorses the international research and policy-influencing work of the School's leading researchers in the field of population and behavioural health sciences. The WHO CC has several strands of work related to social determinants of health and prevention of health inequalities, reduction of youth violence, and prevention of risk behaviours such as drug use. Additionally, it seeks to use research to inform policy and practice aimed at improving young people's health, well-being, health behaviours, and supportive social contexts. In this regard, the WHO CC works closely with key stakeholders including the Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) study to increase its policy impact and knowledge exchange efforts.
The HBSC is an international alliance of researchers that collaborate on the WHO collaborative cross-national survey of school students, Health Behaviour in School-aged Children. Initiated in the early 1980's, the study collects data every four years on 11-, 13- and 15-year-old boys' and girls' health and well-being, social environments and health behaviours. The research venture dates back to 1982 and shortly thereafter it was adopted by the WHO Regional Office for Europe as a collaborative study. HBSC now includes 44 countries and regions across Europe and North America. This collaboration brings in individuals with a wide range of expertise in areas such as clinical medicine, epidemiology, biology, pediatrics, pedagogy, psychology, public health, public policy, and sociology. The study has therefore involved cross-fertilization of a range of perspectives that has resulted in an innovative scientific framework which captures the contextual environment in which young people live thus allowing us to gain an insight into determinants and possible mediators and moderators of young people's health. As such, HBSC has earned a reputation as a unique provider of key internationally comparable statistics of the health and health-related behaviours of young people.
This conference is the first of its kind to bring together the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study, the Excellence in Pediatrics Institute and the WHO Collaborating Centre for International Child and Adolescent Health Policy to build knowledge, foster dialogue and progress innovation in research and practice within the field of children and adolescent health. The HBSC study provides secular trends across countries for a wide variety of key measures within adolescent health. Pediatricians are in a unique position to critically examine this data, contextualise it, and use it to support and promote healthy behaviours in the young people they care for. The WHO CC can foster advocacy efforts to prioritise adolescent health issues and implement policy recommendations for national and international bodies. All in all, it will be an excellent opportunity to make research and data relevant to practitioners, as well as to better familiarise researchers with the challenges and opportunities of pediatric clinical practice.
This event will provide a unique collaborative opportunity for key players in the adolescent health field to access and discuss international research findings on adolescent health, to consider current challenges and opportunities within pediatric clinical practice, and to find solutions to some of the most pressing issues facing young people today.
The Leadership Foundation is a membership organisation that delivers leadership development and consultancy advice to higher education institutions in the UK and around the world. The focus of the Leadership Foundation's work is to improve the management and leadership skills of existing and future leaders of higher education. The services provided include consultancy, leadership development programmes and events, including a major series of events for governors. This work is supported by a highly regarded research and development programme that underpins the leadership development programmes and stimulates innovation.
The Leadership Foundation has a small team of experienced leadership and organisational development professionals drawn from higher education, other parts of the public sector, and also from the private sector. Much of the Leadership Foundation's work is delivered in partnership with the higher education sector and other partner organisations. www.lfhe.ac.uk
There are thousands of children and young people living with a serious illness or complex health condition in the UK. WellChild is the national charity working to ensure the best possible care and support for all these children, young people and their families wherever they are and whenever they need it. This is done by providing a range of programmes that make a huge impact on the lives of these families. These include:
WellChild Children’s Nurses: Central to the programmes on offer is the growing network of WellChild Children’s Nurses who work across the UK in community and hospital settings. They provide essential and individualised care and support to many of these children and young people, including those who are technology dependent. A crucial part of their keyworker role is focused on enabling early discharge from hospital so that care can be provided at home. Supporting these families through the process helps to reduce the practical, emotional and financial impact they often experience.
WellChild Projects: WellChild has funded countless initiatives to improve the lives of seriously ill children, young people and their families. This includes a range of projects to help create a better understanding of how care is provided at home and give parents and carers access to the information they need. One example of this is the Medicines for Children website developed in partnership with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and the Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group. This free, practical and reliable resource on over 100 children’s medicines provides useful information for parents through leaflets and videos. Another practical resource is ‘My Child Is In Pain’. Developed at the University of Central Lancashire with parents this interactive website gives advice on how to manage pain after a child has had day surgery.
WellChild Family Tree: The WellChild Family Tree provides families of seriously ill children with a safe place they can chat to other parents and carers and support each other online via a closed Facebook group and also face-to-face through local ‘branches’. Dedicated support to children and young people with the rare condition Wolfram Syndrome and their families is also provided through the Wolfram Syndrome Family Coordinator who works closely with the specialist team at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
WellChild Helping Hands: Caring for a seriously ill child or young person with complex care needs at home can, at times, be challenging. Jobs such as decorating a child’s bedroom or making the garden a safe play space often get pushed to the bottom of the priorities list as they focus on caring for their child’s complex needs. WellChild Helping Hands is a unique scheme which works across the UK with the support of teams of volunteers from local companies and organisations, to tackle these simple but essential home and garden improvements.
Our story begins in 1982, when Joshua, grandson of Jean Hobbs-Hotz, was diagnosed with this ultra-rare metabolic condition. There was no treatment available. The first treatment for Cystinosis would not arrive until 1994.
Unwilling to do nothing and at the suggestion of Jerry A. Schneider, M.D., with support from family and friends Jean established the Cystinosis Foundation for the purpose of serving all individuals living with Cystinosis. From the start we have collaborated with scientists, clinicians, families and industry to improve the care of individuals and families coping with this condition. Making a difference since 1983 for the child born today, our mission focuses on educating patients, parents and medical professionals about this ultra-rare condition, mentoring the establishment of patient support groups across the globe and serving the needs of patients and their families. The Cystinosis Foundation works beyond borders, empowering parents and mentoring the establishment of support groups in 16 different nations, helping to remove painful feelings of isolation that accompany this ultra rare metabolic condition. We believe that nothing is too small to know and nothing too big to attempt.
The Confederation of Meningitis Organisations (CoMO), is an international member organisation working to reduce the incidence and impact of meningitis and septicaemia worldwide. CoMO was founded in September 2004 at the World Conference of Meningitis Organisations when delegates from across the globe agreed to work together in the fight against meningitis. Bringing people together is an essential part of what we do. CoMO brings together patient groups, health professionals and organisations, meningitis survivors and families from more than 25 countries to help prevent meningitis worldwide. Our member organisations are charities that share the aims of raising awareness, educating, supporting families and advocating for the use of vaccines to prevent meningitis. We connect our members, providing resources to a strong global network so that they can share their experiences to strengthen one another and to deliver their objectives in the communities that they serve.
All year round we strive to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia, how to prevent its occurrence by vaccination, and the devastating effects it can have on a person and their loved ones. World Meningitis Day on April 24 each year is one of our most important activities and when we and our members work to bring meningitis to the top of the agenda. There is much work to be done to ensure vaccines to prevent meningitis and septicaemia are freely available worldwide. CoMO advocates for these vaccines to be available and supports its members in their efforts to do the same. Along with World Meningitis Day, CoMO is involved in a number of other projects. Most recently we launched our Life Course Immunisation initiative. This initiative aims to increase awareness of vaccine inequalities and the need for immunisation throughout life by working with vaccine advocates, other civil society organisations, healthcare professionals and policy makers. CoMO welcomes anyone from these sectors who has an interest in vaccines and vaccination across the life course from babyhood to healthy ageing to contact us at LCI@comomeningitis.org to discuss possible partnerships.
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