Virtual edition - April 2021
The last edition of the MSF Paediatric Days took place online on April 15 & 16, 2021.
The 5 sessions were:
- Neonates – back to basics
- Community-based model of care for neonatal and child health
- Paediatric tuberculosis
- Antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial stewardship in neonatal and paediatric care
- Collateral damage of Covid-19 on child health.
The KEY MESSAGES are now available in English. A translation in French will be available soon. Useful resources on these topics are available (for MSF staff only) on the MSF Paediatric Working Group SharePoint.
You can watch (or re-watch) the full event in English or in French:
1. Neonates – back to basics
Essential care is a set of effective, simple and cheap interventions that aims to minimize the risk of illness and maximize a new-born’s growth and development. It includes thermal control, evaluating breathing, initiating breastfeeding and preventing infection. Breastfeeding is a vital component of essential new-born care and therefore a crucial tool in our efforts to tackle the high burden of neonatal mortality and morbidity. This session addressed the operational challenges and related limitations and opportunities for implementation on the field. We also wanted to highlight the need of standardising essential care across MSF.
2. Community-based model of care for neonatal and child health
The delivery of health services is often weakest where the needs are greatest, and low coverage of the most needed interventions results in a significant unmet need for treatment of these major child mortality causes. This gap on the continuum of care for new-born and children due to health system capacity in contexts of conflict with limited access has increased the need of decentralised models of care that involve the community. During this session, we wanted to explore the challenges and opportunities arising from the decentralised models of care. To tackle this topic from a practical approach, field staff and academia shared their experience and the solutions found.
3. Paediatric tuberculosis
Tuberculosis is the infectious disease killing the most, and children are at particular risk. Diagnosing children is crucial, but frequently missed. In this session we explored how we can improve in MSF. To assist our daily clinical practice, we emphasized on a common-sense approach to diagnosing TB in children. We highlighted clinical features and clinical diagnostic tools, as we lack sufficient laboratory support. And we also shared experiences in how to trace and treat contacts.
4. Antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial stewardship in neonatal and paediatric care
Antibiotic resistance is increasing at alarming rates in low-income countries, especially for children and even new-borns, resulting in very high mortality rates. Health workers and academia argued during this session why in order to face this urgent issue, a multidisciplinary approach is required. We also presented the diagnostic tools available to support field teams and how they should be integrated into routine activities; and discussed the antibiotic stewardship program implemented by MSF.
5. Collateral damage of Covid-19 on child health.
While the direct effects of COVID-19 appeared to be relatively benign in children, the vulnerable infants of the humanitarian settings where MSF works are been heavily affected by the multiple collateral effects of the health crisis. Through this session, we wanted to shed some light on the additional burden of COVID-19 on children with co-morbidities more specific to low-resource settings. From first-hand field experience, we discussed strategies used to maintain child health services and help to attenuate the impact of this crisis; and focused on the need of flexibility to adjust health activities to the current situation.
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