Improving Maternal Child and Adolescent Health

Join us at the upcoming 2021 Virtual Pediatric Academic Societies' (PAS) Meeting on May 3 & 4!

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14:21 PM

We invite you to join us at the upcoming annual virtual Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) Meeting. This year we are hosting a two-part session held on May 3 and 4.


PART 1: Global Health State-of-the-Art Update: Direct and Indirect Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Health of Children and Adolescents in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Solutions and Research Priorities

 Monday, May 3, 2021
 2:00 - 4:00 PM EDT


This session will focus on describing the global, country, and local responses to the direct and indirect effects of COVID-19 on children and adolescent's health in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), and highlight the challenges including community partnerships, stakeholder coalitions, and innovations. It will also outline research priorities and key calls to action for the international community.

2:00 - 3:30 PM - Intro and speaker presentations

  • Michael Levin, Imperial College London - Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children: one year on
  • Luwei Pearson, UNICEF - Direct and Indirect impact of COVID-19 pandemic on children globally, and UNCEF mitigation strategies
  • Anuradha Gupta, GAVI - Covax: Ensuring Equitable Access to COVID-19 Vaccines GloballyCurrent global updates on challenges and solutions
  • Quarraisha Abdool Karim, Centre for the AIDS programme of Research in South Africa - The Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the role of the Scientific community and Public Health Systems to Protect Child Health: Communication and Pandemic Preparedness

Moderators: Zulfiqar A. Bhutta and Suzinne Pak-Gorstein (Co-Chairs, The Coalition representatives to PAS)

3:30 - 4:00 PM - Q&A

Speaker Bios


Michael Levin is Professor of Paediatrics and International Child Health, at Imperial College London. He works as paediatric infectious diseases consultant and has led research focused on the diagnosis and treatment of a range of childhood infections including meningococcal disease, tuberculosis, bacterial sepsis and Kawasaki disease. He currently leads the EU funded PERFORM study investigating the application of RNA transcriptomics to improve diagnosis of childhood infection. He also leads the NIH funded study Validation of Biomarkers of Pediatric TB and further development for use in diagnosis of childhood TB.


Luwei Pearson is the acting Associate Director Health at UNICEF’s New York Headquarters. Dr. Pearson has worked with UNICEF for over 20 years at HQ, regional and country levels and received a special recognition from the Government of Ethiopia for contributions to strengthening primary health care in 2013. A pediatrician by training, she is an expert in strengthening primary health care with a focus on maternal, newborn and child health programmes


Anuradha Gupta is Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Since joining Gavi in 2015, Anuradha has led efforts to put equity and gender at the centre of Gavi’s programmatic planning and to tailor support to countries within Gavi’s strategy. She has also driven efforts to create a new model of country-level Alliance support, through the establishment of the partners’ engagement framework (PEF). At the same time, Anuradha has helped to improve country ownership and leadership of Gavi-supported programmes while enhancing accountability for results.


Quarraisha Abdool Karim, PhD is a South African infectious diseases epidemiologist. She is the Associate Scientific Director of the CAPRISA (Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa), professor in Clinical Epidemiology at Columbia University; Pro-Vice Chancellor for African Health at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and UNAIDS Special Ambassador for Adolescents and HIV.  She is a Member of the USA National Academy of Medicine and Fellow of: The World Academy of Science; African Academy of Science and the Academy of Science of South Africa.


PART 2: Global Health State-of-the-Art Update: International Partnerships during the COVID-19 pandemic - Equity, Innovations, and Outcomes for Child and Adolescent Health

 Monday, May 4, 2021
 2 - 4 PM EDT


This session will continue discussions from day 1 and focus on describing how international partnerships have adapted to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to innovate and support child and adolescent health in LMICs. 

2:00 - 3:30 PM - Intro and speaker presentations

  • Rajiv Bahl, WHO - The Role of International Collaboration to develop child health policies during the COVID-19 pandemic with an equity Lens
  • Meghan Azad, University of Manitoba - Establishing partnerships & assembling an international consortium to study perinatal health during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Maneesh Batra, University of Washington - Towards an equitable resident educational partnership during COVID-19: The REACH program at the Universities of Nairobi and Washington
  • Ruth Nduati, University of Nairobi -  Challenges and Approaches to Decolonize Child Health International partnerships
  • James M. Callahan - Children's Hospital of Philadelphia - Continuing equitable international partnerships during the pandemic: Lessons learned

Moderators: Zulfiqar A. Bhutta and Suzinne Pak-Gorstein (Co-Chairs, The Coalition representatives to PAS)

3:30 - 4:00 PM - Q&A

Speaker Bios


Rajiv Bahl is s the Coordinator of the Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health Research and Development Team of the MCA Department at WHO. The Team is responsible for research and development of guidelines, training materials and other tools in the areas of maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health.



Meghan Azad is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Child Health at the University of Manitoba. She holds a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Developmental Origins of Chronic Disease and co-Directs the new Manitoba Interdisciplinary Lactation Centre (MILC). Her research program is focused on the role of infant nutrition and the microbiome in child growth, development and resilience. Dr. Azad serves as Deputy Director for the Manitoba site of the CHILD Cohort Study, a national pregnancy cohort following 3500 children to understand how early life experiences shape lifelong health.


Maneesh Batra is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology; Adjunct Professor of Global Health; and Associate Director of the Pediatrics Residency Program at the University of Washington and Seattle Children's hospital.  His scholarly interests include capacity building in resource-limited settings, including human resource capacity, and the synthesis of existing solutions and adaptation of interventions to these settings. He helped to develop, implement and continues to direct the University of Washington Pediatric Residency REACH (Resident Education and Advocacy for Child Health) Pathway which was awarded the Academic Pediatric Association Teaching Program Award in 2014.


Ruth Nduati is a Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Nairobi & Consultant Paediatrician at Kenyatta National Hospital.   
A HIV researcher in in field of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and published extensively, contributing to knowledge, health policy and current practice guidelines in the field.  She is a member of the team that conceptualized the Community Child Health Kenya a program that bring together residents from the University of Nairobi and University of Washington to study Child Health together.


James M. Callahan is a member of the Division of Emergency Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the Education Officer for the Department of Pediatrics and since the fall of 2020 has served as the Medical Director for CHOP’s Global Pediatric Education Program. He has been fortunate enough to collaborate for many years with the American Austrian Foundation’s Open Medical Institute, Alianza Médica Para la Salud (AMSA) in Mexico and other healthcare organizations to promote pediatric education in a variety of settings.