PD 24 - Challenges for Children Today: Climate, COVID and Commercial Marketing
9 months ago
Are we doing enough to ensure health and well-being for the world's children, the future of our global population? Clearly not, says an international Commission of child health experts, who, in February 2020 launched A future for the world's children? A WHO-UNICEF-Lancet Commission. Their warnings and call for urgent action preceded the declaration by the World Health Organization of the COVID-19 pandemic in March which led to lockdowns and confinement; economic recessions and worsening poverty; suspension of schools; reduced routine health care and preventive child health services; and cases of a new Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome strongly suspected to be linked to COVID-19. Added to ever-present contagious diseases like measles, children today face new threats from climate change, novel zoonoses such as COVID-19 and harmful commercial marketing, the 'three Cs'. Appearing to be very different on the surface, these threats are actually all interconnected and should be tackled concurrently. How will building a stronger, healthier population on a sustainable planet protect us better from both non-communicable diseases, such as obesity which has increased 11-fold in just over 40 years, and deadly communicable diseases? How can we better prepare for and manage pandemics, protecting children? What’s our advice to the Conference of the Parties 26 in terms of continuing with positive environmental impacts of pandemic lockdowns? How can we ensure that COVID recovery funds and policies address the child health crisis fully and drive a good future for people and planet? These questions will form the basis of a dynamic debate.