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AAP Abroad: Pediatric leaders develop plans to tackle non-communicable diseases :

March 2, 2016

Pediatric leaders from 14 Asia-Pacific countries became child health advocates for the prevention, management and treatment of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by developing plans for their own countries at a January workshop in Hyderabad, India.

Francis E. Rushton Jr., M.D., FAAP, helped develop and lead advocacy training modeled after the Academy’s successful international tobacco advocacy trainings. He also learned from colleagues, including Indian pediatricians who taught him their approach to childhood obesity.

Francis E. Rushton Jr., M.D., FAAP, second from right, led an advocacy workshop in Hyderabad, India.Francis E. Rushton Jr., M.D., FAAP, second from right, led an advocacy workshop in Hyderabad, India.“This is a two-way street. We’re not just teaching people in Asia. They’re teaching us,” said Dr. Rushton, past chair of AAP District IV and the Advisory Committee to the Board on Global Child Health. “We’re mission-driven, doing more than just educational exchange with other countries around the world. We’re trying to figure out how we use our resources in a way that benefits everybody across the world.”

Pediatric leaders and medical students shared ideas; developed action plans that address undernutrition, neural tube defects, perinatal mortality and asthma; and identified stakeholders in their country.

“People left fired up,” Dr. Rushton said. “They’re going to go back and do great things.”

To help move their action plans forward, the participants can apply for small grants from NCD Child, a global coalition championing the rights and needs of children, adolescents and youths who are living with or are at risk of developing NCDs. The Academy is the secretariat of NCD Child.

Many groups plan to reconvene to discuss their progress at the International Pediatric Association meeting on Aug. 16 in Vancouver, Canada.

The workshop was the second of four in a leadership advocacy series on Protecting Children from Non-Communicable Diseases hosted by NCD Child, the Academy and the International Pediatric Association.

The Academy and NCD Child continue to advocate for the rights of young people within the newly activated Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal 3 (health and well-being), which includes a target for NCDs.

The next workshops will be held in April in Eldoret, Kenya, and in August in Vancouver.

For details about NCD Child and the Academy’s activities related to non-communicable diseases, email or visit

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