Addressing a Critical Need
a quarter of the world’s population is under the age of five, 50 percent of the
victims of man-made and natural disasters are children. Children are vulnerable in
disasters for physiological, psychological, and developmental reasons. Too
often medical staff are ill prepared for pediatric triage and emergency
stabilization in terms of knowledge and experience, as well as equipment and
can be an
important source of information, support, and help for the community, school,
families, and children. Because of the
vulnerability of children and adolescents, pediatricians and other health
professionals must ensure that local, regional, and national disaster
preparedness planning meets the specific needs of children and adolescents. In
order to do this effectively pediatricians must be trained and motivated to
take on this task.
The Pediatrics in
Disaster (PEDs) training program trains healthcare providers to prioritize
life-saving care for children in disasters. Because of the vulnerability of children and adolescents,
pediatricians and other health professionals must ensure that local, regional,
and national disaster preparedness planning meets the specific needs of
children and adolescents.
The PEDs training program was
initiated in 2004 as a collaboration among the American Academy of Pediatrics
(AAP), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Johnson and Johnson
Pediatric Institute and the Association for Health Research & Development
(ACINDES). Dr. Stephen Berman, the Center for Global Health Director, was the
Editor and Course Director.
In 2011 the Center for Global Health assumed
responsibility for the training program, carried out an update of the program
materials, and developed an interactive online version of the training. The course,
delivered over three or four days, includes lectures with standardized
PowerPoint presentations and notes, as well as small group problem-based
learning (PBL) exercises.
group PBL exercises reinforce the lecture presentations through role-playing,
case discussions, and clinical skills practice workshops. The course finishes with a mass casualty
simulation that allows participants to apply the skills of organization,
communication, triage and the care of trauma victims. Course materials are now
available in English, Spanish, French, Chinese, and Vietnamese. The course design emphasizes active learning
through repetitive exposure and demonstration of competency.
The PEDS program has three main aims. First, establish national
PEDS training centers in LMICs to carry out “train the trainer” courses and
promote replication of the training throughout the country, especially in areas
prone to natural events. Second, facilitate collaboration among professional
societies, hospitals, medical schools, and governmental agencies in carrying
out the courses to hopefully improve coordination related to pediatric disaster
preparedness planning and response. Third, train pediatric health professionals
in LMICs and motivate them to participate in pediatric disaster planning and
response activities for their communities.
A new editorial board is being
established to continuously update course materials that will include Save the
Children, Medicine San Frontiers, the United Nations High Commission on
Refugees, as well PAHO and the AAP.
Center for Global Health has developed the training curriculum that can be
taken online and in person. Since 2012, the PEDs training
program has been held every November in Colorado. Participants include medical,
nursing, and public health students, residents, fellows, and faculty, as well as
physicians and health professionals from around the country and world.
from the Center for Global Health have facilitated 23 courses in 15 countries
throughout Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Africa.