Children's environmental health

Training on children's health and the environment: Multilevel training course for health care providers, Arezza, Italy, 7-10 March 2004

A informal consultation on training materials on children’s health and the environment for health care providers (HCP) was organized by WHO on 7 to 10 March 2004 in Arezzo, Italy, in order to peer review, assess and discuss a set of training materials. The meeting was hosted by the International Society of Doctors for the Environment (ISDE Italy).

This activity builds upon the recommendations of the Bangkok Statement (March 2002) that urges WHO to promote the recognition, assessment and study of environmental factors that have an impact on the health and development of children. More specifically, to incorporate children’s environmental health into the training of health care providers, and to promote the use of the Pediatric Environmental History (Area 2: Health and Research). This peer review meeting follows-up the informal consultation on developing training materials organized in WHO/HQ in July 2003 and the Ad Hoc meeting on the subject held in Bangkok, at the time of the IFCS Forum IV, November 2003.

A working group of medical professionals with training experience and/or major knowledge in environmental and/or child and adolescent health, coming from academia, scientific associations, and health organizations in ten different countries peer reviewed the first set of training modules. These included: Children are not little adults; Pediatric Environmental History; Noise; Outdoor Air Pollution; Indoor Air Pollution; Lead; Mercury; Cancer and Respiratory disease. The preparation of modules on Pesticides, Climate Change and Household Products was initiated, and plans were established for the preparation of the second set of draft modules.

These modules are intended to be used on a “train the trainer” approach addressing health care providers initially. After pilot testing and use thay will serve as the basis for preparing more simple presentations, addressing the needs of other types of audience in the near future.