Improving Child Survival
The aim of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Child Health and Vaccine Preventable Diseases (APPG) is to raise awareness of the burden of preventable diseases in the developing world and to increase access to effective prevention and treatment interventions.
The All Party Group supports wide ranging efforts to reduce child and maternal illness in the developing world and is principally focussed on reducing childhood pneumonia and diarrhoeal disease, the two leading killers of children in the developing world. These conditions are largely preventable through access to effective vaccines and to adequate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities.
To promote these objectives, the Group works with a range of stakeholders including Government departments, other health and development focussed APPGs, NGOs and medical experts. The Group further supports the work of the World Health Organisation, through the promotion of the 2009 Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia (GAPP) and the 2013 Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhoeal Disease (GAPPD).
Preventing and treating pneumonia and diarrhoeal disease requires a large concerted effort from donor and recipient countries and from the global community as a whole. The Group will continue to support all efforts to make progress on Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5, for child and maternal health, and will work with partners to help build a sustainable post-MDG framework from 2015.
“To raise awareness of the challenges of improving maternal and child health and reducing vaccine preventable diseases in the developing world.”
The All Party Group for Child Health and Vaccine Preventable Diseases was officially established in 2011 to raise awareness of the burden of preventable diseases, such as pneumonia and rotavirus, in the developing world and to promote the use of preventative medicines, such as pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines.
The group itself has however been in existence since 2007, when it was known as the APPG for Pneumococcal Disease Prevention in the Developing World and then as the APPG for Global Action against Childhood Pneumonia. Having worked to successfully raise parliamentary awareness of the burden of childhood pneumonia in the developing world and the effectiveness of vaccines to prevent the condition, the group decided in 2011 to expand its remit to include rotavirus and diarrhoeal disease.
This landmark transition was informed by meetings with NGOs and medical experts in the international development community and also by APPG field visits to Kenya, Bangladesh and Tanzania. The APPG Co-Chairs, Jim Dobbin MP and Lord Avebury, recognised the need for a more joined-up approach to international development policy and identified identical challenges in vaccinating children against both pneumonia and diarrhoeal disease.
More recently, the APPG has also begun to examine the complimentary role of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) practices in delivering integrated healthcare solutions in the developing world.
The group will continue to champion development within the UK parliament, to promote evidence-based policy in the field of international development and to support the UK Government in playing a leading role in global development as we most towards 2015 and the post-MDG agenda.