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A Champion for the Children of the World
Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland Receives Prestigious United Nations Award

In 2000, the United Nations (UN) brought together the largest gathering of world leaders in history to develop and adopt 8 different Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) geared toward tackling global poverty and its inequities. Since then, the UN has been annually recognizing organizations that have made outstanding contributions toward achieving the MDGs.

Last year alone over 40 Nobel laureates were presented with the award. This year, however, the Children's Global Health Initiative (GCHI) at Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland was among 4 organizations in northern California given the great honor of receiving the United Nations Global Citizen Award for the GCHI's dedicated efforts to help achieve MDG 4, the reduction of child mortality.

"Like many organizations, we do all our work in developing countries by invitation to work on a particular medical or research problem, but we also do training and education so that what we develop becomes sustainable after we leave. I think that really distinguishes us."
Launched in 2008 with the mission of relieving suffering and meeting the needs of children worldwide in an environment of trust, compassion and care, the CGHI focuses on the most vulnerable population on the planet - children.

"Over 10,000 children under the age of 5 years die of diarrhea, lung infections, malaria and measles each year, many complicated by malnutrition, and all are preventable," says Deborah Dean, MD, MPH, CHORI scientist and director of the Children’s Global Health Initiative (CGHI).

The CGHI serves as an umbrella under which scientists and clinicians in both the research and hospital branches of Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland conduct global outreach to developing countries, providing research collaborations and essential services that all contribute to reducing child mortality.
CHORI scientist Janet King, PhD, has been working on obesity, diabetes and malnutrition in pregnant mothers in a variety of developing countries, as well as working with Dr. Dean on how malnutrition can impact the immune response to infections in among rural Vietnamese women of child bearing age.

"If you decrease the mortality of mothers by providing them with better services and prevent malnutrition, you increase the likelihood that the children they are giving birth to will survive," explains Dr. Dean. "If you provide surgery to cure blindness in elders who would otherwise not be able help care for infants and children, you increase the likelihood that those children in their care will survive."

These are but a few of the many examples through which the CGHI champions children across the globe, and the efforts of CGHI that were so honored by the UN Global Citizen Award.

"We have something we can translate to the third world, whether it's a technology or a medical treatment regimen or a protocol that can be incorporated into their own clinical work," Dr. Dean says. "We help provide stability by educating and training people on the ground to carry on with the work after we leave."

Apparently the United Nations agrees.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013 9:38 AM

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