Posted on May 05, 2013

The Excellence in Paediatrics Institute, a global community that unites pediatric healthcare professionals, has announced that Dr. Thomas Cherian, Coordinator for Program and Impact Monitoring in the Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biological at the World Health Organization (WHO), will present the update of WHO’s action plan for the Decade of Vaccines, focusing on the global status of immunization, at the Excellence In Paediatrics Conference in Qatar (December 4-7, 2013), which is sponsored by Sidra Medical and Research Center, member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development.

The Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) was endorsed by the 194 Member States of the World Health Assembly in May 2012 to achieve the Decade of Vaccines vision by delivering universal access to immunization. The GVAP's mission is to improve health by extending the full benefits of immunization to all people, regardless of where they are born, who they are or where they live by 2020.

If the GVAP is translated into action and resources are mobilized, between 24.6 and 25.8 million deaths could be averted by the end of the decade, billions of dollars in productivity will be gained, and immunization will greatly contribute to achieving the Millennium Development Goal 4 target to reduce by two-thirds the under-five mortality rate. The GVAP builds on the Global Immunization Vision and Strategy 2006–2015, the United Nation's Millennium Declaration and the UN Secretary-General’s Global Strategy for Women and Children’s Health.

Developing the plan has brought together multiple stakeholders involved in immunization, including the leadership of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations, GAVI Alliance, UNICEF, and the U.S. National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases. All partners, including governments and elected officials, health professionals, academia, manufacturers, global agencies, development partners, civil society, media and the private sector, are committed to achieving the ambitious goals of the GVAP.

The WHO is leading efforts — using exiting partnerships and coordinating mechanisms — to support regions and countries to adapt the GVAP for implementation at the regional and country level. Country involvement in this process reinforces a key tenet of the GVAP, which is to increase national ownership of immunization programs. Many more partners and stakeholders are expected to lend their support in the future as the plan is implemented around the world.

Sidra’s commitment to improving the provision of healthcare for women and children in Qatar, the region and internationally supports the goals of the GVAP. “At Sidra, the focus is not only on ensuring an unparallel patient experience within the hospital, but improving the individual’s overall wellbeing before they even arrive to our doors. Vaccination is essential in disease prevention and I am looking forward to Dr. Cherian’s update on WHO’s action plan for the Decade of Vaccines,” said Sidra’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Edward Ogata.   

Thomas Cherian 
Dr. Thomas Cherian is the Coordinator of the Expanded Program on Immunization, WHO Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals. In his former position at WHO, he was the Coordinator for Implementation Research in the Initiative for Vaccine Research and was responsible for research on vaccines against acute respiratory infections, primarily pneumococcal vaccines. He is recognized as an expert in the field on acute respiratory infections. Before joining WHO, Dr. Cherian was a Professor of Paediatrics at the Christian Medical College in Vellore, India and was on the faculty of that institution from 1985 to 2002. Dr. Cherian did his medical training as well as his postgraduate training in pediatrics at the Christian Medical College. Subsequently, he did a fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, United States. Dr. Cherian has authored or co-authored over 100 scientific articles and book chapters.

Excellence in Paediatrics Conference 
The leading figures in pediatrics and decision makers in children’s healthcare attend and support the Excellence in Paediatrics Conference. The fifth edition of the EiP Conference will be held in Qatar with the strategic cooperation of Sidra Medical and Research Center. Previous EiP Conferences have taken place in Florence, London, Istanbul and Madrid. An international faculty featuring more than 90 distinguished figures in modern pediatrics will lead over 50 scientific sessions for more than 3,000 delegates from all over the world in an inspiring mix of interactive formats and group learning. The conference’s five health policy summits will also bring together international stakeholders to consult on pediatric issues of concern. Visit the conference website for more information: 

Excellence in Paediatrics Institute 
The Excellence in Paediatrics Institute was founded to cater to the needs of leading pediatric academics and healthcare professionals who wanted to connect and collaborate in a global community. The EIP Institute is a not-for-profit association providing continuous, high-quality medical education to a global network of over 60,000 pediatric health care providers. The Institute’s mission is to improve child health and healthcare globally by empowering all providers who care for children with the latest practical skills, expert advice and peer-led guidance. The real potential with EIP lies in its communal networking and information-sharing capacity. An online platform allows members to collaborate, exchange knowledge, share experiences and practices. Visit the Institute's website for more information:

Qatar Airways now flies 4 times weekly to Warsaw, Poland