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Research in global pediatrics is a long-standing priority of the Boston Children's Hospital's Department of Medicine. The research of the Global Pediatrics Program emphasizes innovation in health care delivery to bridge the gaps in access to health care for children in the developing world in low resource settings. As with all GPP activities, we seek to conduct collaborative projects that bring together the ideas of a wide community of researchers and move from discovery to delivery in as timely and cost-effective manner as possible.

Tanzania

Dr. Chris Duggan and other members of the CHB Faculty and the HSPH Nutrition program have a long-standing research collaboration with Muhimbili University in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. This research evaluates the acute and chronic effects of malnutrition on children with a wide variety of illnesses. 

Additional research programs include a collaboration with HSPH on application of mobile electronic technology to improve health, especially in the newborn period. This mhealth project expands the capability of community health workers in the field to use IMCI methodology in the newborn period.   

Chile

Two years after the devastating 8.8 earthquake hit central Chile, many residents along the Pacific coast still live in temporary housing in camps. In the Bio Bio region many of the seaside towns were destroyed by the enormous tsunami waves that came quickly in the wake of the earthquake. Their lives were ripped apart and many have not been able to piece them together again.

The David Rockefeller Center at Harvard has established  the “Recupera Chile” project as one attempt to assist in the rebuilding of the affected towns. Just after the New Year, a team from Recupera Chile worked with the residents of Cobquecura, DiChato and Perales to identify economic development opportunities for the families who had lost their homes and the tools of their trades as a result of the disaster.

The project aims to bring resources from the Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard School of Design as well as the Medical School, Graduate School of Education and the Business School to assist these towns in their physical recovery and in their community rebuilding process.

As the medical representative on the team, Dr. Palfrey worked to identify opportunities to strengthen the families’ economic prospects, their mental health and to enhance the participation of youth in the process of rebuilding. On this trip, Recupera Chile has helped dozens of families to complete applications for government and philanthropic funding, build community coalitions and sewn the seeds for further community recovery.

This summer we look to pair 2 people from Children’s Hospital or Harvard Medical School with two Chilean counterparts from the University of Concepcion to continue the work in the Bio Bio Region. Anyone who might be interested in this experience should contact Dr. Palfrey at judith.palfrey@childrens.harvard.edu

Recent updates from Chile can be found here.

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The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO
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