The Academy’s global health programs support capacity building and improved engagement of child health providers as well as offer clinical skills development. Implementation programs are primarily grant-funded.
Early Childhood Development
The first three years of life provide a critical window in brain development and present an opportunity to invest in early interventions to improve the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children. Globally, nearly 250 million children under 5 are at risk of missing critical developmental milestones. For a child to both survive and thrive, they need enabling environments which promote good health, adequate nutrition, responsive caregiving, security and safety and opportunities for early learning. Loss in development potential translates to loss in societal economic gains, perpetuating the cycle of poverty. Building on its evidence-based and trusted domestic ECD programs, the AAP works with national pediatric societies to build their capacity to advocate to national governments for improved ECD policies and services and to support providers and caregivers in promoting nurturing care.
Strengthening Pediatricians’ Capacity for Promoting ECD & Nurturing Care – In partnership with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Kenya Paediatric Association and the Paediatric Association of Tanzania, the AAP seeks to leverage the clinical expertise, patient experience and expansive networks of pediatricians to ensure national and sub-national health care systems are responsive and inclusive of ECD and nurturing care.
Vaccines are one of the most successful and cost-effective health interventions in history, preventing 2 to 3 million deaths each year. The world has experienced a 99% reduction of polio cases since 1988 and the preventable disease remains endemic in only three countries as of 2019. Despite our progress, globally an estimated 19.4 million infants do not have access to life-saving vaccines. In recent years, misinformation has led to a dramatic rise in vaccine hesitancy across the globe. In 2019, the World Health Organization named vaccine hesitancy a top 10 threat to public health. The AAP works closely with national pediatric societies, WHO, UNICEF and other key immunization stakeholders to improve immunization systems and service delivery.
Strengthening Capacity for Global Pediatric Immunization Champions – Through a collaborative agreement with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the AAP is engaging pediatric leaders in priority countries to support national immunization improvement through advocacy, education and targeted action.
Integrated Child Health
Newborn, child and adolescent health services and the agencies that administer them are often fragmented. National governments must assess their health systems to ensure child health interventions are appropriately integrated and financed. An expansion and strengthening of a child’s continuum of care can prevent or reduce disease, improve nutritional status, advance the quality of care received, and create social and physical environments that promote safety and good health. This requires improved multi-sectoral coordination among government ministries, civil society, medical providers and community frontline workers.
Accessible Continuum of Care & Essential Services (ACCESS) – In partnership with USAID, Management Sciences for Health, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Nurse Midwives and others, the AAP works to improve the technical and clinical quality of community-based health centers and referral hospitals by conducting and supporting low-dose, high-frequency trainings and follow-up supervision to a cadre of child health providers in thirteen regions of the country.
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs)—including cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, diabetes and mental and neurological conditions—are the leading cause of death and disease worldwide, claiming 41 million lives every year. Two-thirds of premature deaths in adults are related to childhood conditions and behaviors associated with NCD risk factors common in young people. Additionally, NCDs disproportionately affect people in low- and middle-income countries where more than 85% of global NCD deaths occur. A life-course approach—encompassing pre-conception, childhood, adolescence and adulthood—is needed to prevent future NCDs and manage existing NCDs in children, adolescents and young adults.
In collaboration with diverse child health stakeholders, the AAP engages in and supports evidence-based, age-appropriate policies and interventions targeting the prevention, management and treatment of NCDs in young people through four main areas: advocacy, capacity development, youth engagement and knowledge to action.
- Strengthening Pediatricians’ Capacity for Tobacco Control – Through a collaborative agreement with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the AAP Julius B. Richmond Center of Excellence is engaging pediatric societies in priority countries to conduct advocacy education and programs promoting the prevention of tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke. During a small workshop and through technical assistance, societies are provided key advocacy practices and strategies to effectively address tobacco control in local and national settings.
- Adapting adolescent suicide prevention screening questionnaire – The AAP seeks to contextually validate the National Institutes of Mental Health Ask-Suicide Screening Questions (ASQ), a 4-item suicide risk screening instrument with excellent sensitivity, specificity and negative predictive value for use in medical settings in the USA, in Argentina and Ethiopia.
Education & Training
Helping Babies Survive
Globally each year, 2.5 million children die in their first month of life, with the vast majority of newborn deaths taking place in low- and middle-income countries. Tragically, approximately 75% of neonatal deaths occur during the first week of life, and about 1 million newborns die within the first 24 hours. Preterm birth, intrapartum-related complications (birth asphyxia or lack of breathing at birth) and infections are the three leading causes of newborn death worldwide. However, the knowledge and tools to drastically reduce neonatal mortality exist. Up to two-thirds of these deaths could be prevented through strengthening the quality of care as well as ensuring all babies have access to the essential services they need to survive and thrive.
Helping Babies Survive (HBS) is a suite of evidence-based, hands-on training programs developed by the AAP in collaboration with many global health partners to reduce neonatal mortality and morbidity in resource-limited environments. The HBS programs – Helping Babies Breathe (HBB), Essential Care for Every Baby (ECEB), and Essential Care for Small Babies (ECSB) – address the three most common causes of preventable neonatal deaths worldwide and ensure health care providers have the necessary skills and competencies to provide high quality care to newborns after birth.
The AAP works closely with professional societies, WHO, UNICEF, Laerdal Global Health, LDSC and other key newborn health stakeholders to implement sustainable HBS programs around the world, thereby building the capacity of health care workers to provide skilled, competent care on the day of birth. Since 2010, the HBS programs have been implemented in more than 80 countries and more than 500,000 health care providers have been trained.
To learn more, about the AAP’s current programs in HBS, please visit the Academy’s HBS website.
Neonatal Resuscitation Program
The Neonatal Resuscitation Program® (NRP®) course conveys an evidence-based approach to care of the newborn at birth and facilitates effective team-based care for healthcare professionals who care for newborns at the time of delivery. It is utilized in more than 136 countries and has been translated into 24 languages. An international version of the NRP® Provider Curriculum, with the Provider exam and eSim Cases, is available. A Spanish version includes the Spanish exam with English eSims.
To learn more, please visit the Academy’s NRP® website.
Advanced Pediatric Life Support
The Pediatric Emergency Medicine Resource is a continuing medical education program developed by the AAP and the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). APLS features an innovative modular curriculum designed to present the information physicians, nurses and allied health professionals need to assess and care for critically ill and injured children during the first few hours in the emergency department or office-based setting.
To date, the APLS Course has been facilitated in 23 countries with over 6,000 providers trained.
To learn more, visit APLS online.
Additional Life Support Programs & Simulation Resources
The AAP’s Life Support Programs work to advance science and research in pediatric life and create and collaborate on innovative and life-saving products that support diverse audiences in the first line of response. To learn more about these trainings, please visit AAP Life Support.