H.E. Prof. Tawfik A.M. Khoja, Director General of the Executive Board of Health Ministers' Council for Cooperation Council officially inaugurated the first International Paediatric Medical Congress which has commenced today and will continue until tomorrow at Dusit Thani Dubai. The congress will bring together more than two hundred paediatric experts from different countries to discuss the key challenges and updates in clinical paediatric practice globally.
With children's health and welfare being seen as a major concern for all healthcare practitioners and advocates, international health authorities are encouraging the care of children by establishing healthcare facilities, increasing awareness about diseases and organising medical conferences to ensure that doctors have the required knowledge they need. The International Paediatric Medical Congress aims to gather experts to allow exchange of this required knowledge among doctors. This year's congress will cover topics on the management of various diseases affecting children which includes acute respiratory infection, thromboembolism, and hydronephrosis, as well as neurological disorders, to name a few.
In his opening keynote address, H.E. Prof. Tawfik emphasized the issue of child mortality worldwide, by which according to World Health Organization, 6.3 million children have died in 2013 due to various cases with pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria as the leading causes of life loss. He mentioned that in 2012, around 80% of the world's under-five deaths occurred in only 25 countries, and about half in only five countries, adding that under-five deaths are increasingly concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia saying as well that child survival rates differ significantly around the world.
H.E. Prof. Tawfik highlighted in his speech that the key to reducing the under-five mortality rate by two-thirds by 2015 (Millennium Development Goal 4) is greater investment. Over-all, substantial progress has been made towards achieving this goal. Since 1990, the global under-five mortality rate has dropped from 90 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 46 in 2013. But the rate of this reduction in under-five mortality is still insufficient to reach the MDG target of a two-thirds reduction of 1990 mortality levels by the year 2015. That is why it is important for both public and private sectors to come together to improve this level of mortality among children. The keynote address was followed by a presentation from Dr. Yasser Essa Hamad Al Nuaimi, Expert Advisor for Hospitals and Consultant Pediatrician at Albaraha Hospital and Ministry of Health in UAE. In his presentation, he addressed public health concerns with regard to parents' refusal to vaccinate their children.
The International Paediatric Medical Congress has gathered renowned international and regional healthcare professionals and has been initiated by Maarefah Management with the support of key associations and societies such as Dubai Healthcare City, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and Saudi Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition. Day one of the congress was filled with enthusiastic discussions from regional and international experts from all sectors and regulators as they presented updates in managing infectious diseases, reviewed latest trends in heamatology, discussed new approaches to common paediatric problems, and shared best practices in adolescent medicine.
The congress programme will feature outstanding participation from experts coming from UAE and other countries in the region such as: H.E. Prof. Tawfik A. M. Khoja, Director General Executive Board, Health Minister's Council for Cooperation Council; Dr. Abdulrahman Al Jassmi, Consultant Paediatric Haematologist & Oncologist, CEO, Dubai Hospital, DHA; Dr. Yasser Essa Hamad Al Nuaimi, Expert Advisor for Hospitals, Consultant Pediatrician, Albaraha Hospital, Ministry of Health, UAE; Dr. Arif Khan, Consultant Paediatric Neurologist and Epileptologist, Head of Children's Services, American Center for Psychiatry and Neurology, UAE; Dr. Iftikhar A. Jan, Consultant and Head of Paediatric Surgery, Zayed Military Hospital, UAE; Dr. Fatma Bastaki, Consultant Paediatrician, Clinical Geneticist and Metabolist, Latifa Hospital; and Dr. Moza Al Hassani, Consultant, Paediatric Infectious Diseases, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City; along with other key regional and international speakers.
For more information about the International Paediatric Medical Congress, please visit www.internationalpaediatriccongress.com.