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COVID-19 webinars bring global solidarity in tough times :

August 21, 2020

COVID-19 does not discriminate. This message is threaded throughout the AAP’s webinar series “Global Health Practice in the Time of COVID: Finding Effectiveness in Your Personal & Professional World,” which has drawn audiences from more than 40 countries. The series will culminate with a live session on Supporting Families Globally During COVID: How Pediatricians Make a Difference Oct. 4 during the AAP Virtual National Conference & Exhibition (see resources).

Dr. Palha De SousaThe AAP Section on Global Health developed the hourlong webinars to provide educational opportunities beyond the National Conference & Exhibition, according to Chiquita Palha De Sousa, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP, AAP Section on Global Health Education chair. The virtual format makes participation easy for pediatricians, health care providers and other international child health experts worldwide, she said.

Speakers have included pediatricians from AAP councils and sections; partners such as Lego, Hilton, Sesame, Ummeed, Save the Children, GAVI and UNICEF; and experts from numerous global health education programs.

“(The virtual format) has helped with connecting to a broader audience that wouldn’t have known or been able to participate physically,” said Dr. Palha De Sousa. As for the topic of COVID-19: “It’s also a point of solidarity that we’re all in this together and dealing with similar issues.”

A session on parenting during a pandemic was particularly impactful, said Dr. Palha De Sousa. “The whole discussion (addressed) the challenges and solutions of working (and) living in the setting of a pandemic and stressing the importance of self-care, not being able to pour from an empty vessel.”

Speakers that were oceans apart also found many things in common during webinars on racial disparities and personal protective equipment (PPE).

“One of our speakers in Malawi and another in the Navajo Nation faced challenges mobilizing PPE in resource-limited, underserved areas,” she said. “You would think there might be more differences, but there’s actually more similarities.”

After each event, the webinar is posted online. Topics include:

  • When Border Crossings Are Not Possible: How to Keep Pediatricians Engaged in Global Health (Sept. 28)
  • Global Health Education During the Pandemic (Sept. 15)
  • Promoting Early Childhood Development Globally in the Time of COVID-19
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): What to Wear and What to Share
  • Global Child Health During and Beyond COVID-19: A Policy Perspective
  • Disruption of Maternal and Neonatal Care Worldwide During COVID
  • Women in Global Health and Parenting During a Pandemic

Email for information on upcoming webinars and follow #AAPGlobalCOVIDSeries on Twitter.

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