"The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) applauds Congress for passing the
Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation (PAHPAI) Act of 2019 today. From the ongoing measles outbreaks to the aftermath of recent hurricanes, disasters can disproportionately impact children, who have unique medical and developmental needs. PAHPAI recognizes that children are not just little adults and helps ensure that our nation is better prepared to meet the needs of children and adolescents before, during and after disaster strikes.
"The bill includes several measures to improve our nation's preparedness for and response to disasters. First, PAHPAI both reauthorizes and expands the HHS National Advisory Committee on Children and Disasters, so that it can play a more enhanced role in advising the federal government on children's needs during disasters. Second, the bill recognizes the vital role of the Children's Preparedness Unit at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a model for public-private collaboration that has enhanced efforts to safeguard and improve the health of our nation's children in numerous recent emergency responses including hurricanes, Ebola, and Zika virus.
"Part of what makes a disaster a disaster is its unpredictability; we don't know when or how disaster will strike, but we do know what children need when the unthinkable happens. PAHPAI helps ensure the government prioritizes putting into practice the right interventions to keep children as safe and healthy as possible. The Academy thanks congressional leaders in the House and Senate for their leadership on this important legislation and looks forward to its signature into law."
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.