International Pediatric Association (IPA)

Member profile

The International Pediatric Association (IPA) was formed in Paris in 1910 by a group of European pediatricians who assembled for the First International Congress of Pediatrics in 1912. Over the years, the IPA has evolved into a non-governmental organization with a membership of 145 National Pediatric Societies from 140 countries, 10 Regional Pediatric Societies representing all areas of the world, and 13 International Pediatric Specialty Societies including the International Pediatric Chairs Association and the World Federation of Associations of Pediatric Surgeons. The IPA, currently a volunteer-staffed organization, is incorporated in Switzerland and is governed by a Council of Delegates comprised of one representative from each Member Society, an elected Standing Committee, an Executive Committee of the Standing Committee, and its Officers.

Main activities

The original purpose of the IPA was to foster relationships among the pediatricians of the world, thus promoting education and sharing of information about child health. With the exception of periods of the two World Wars of the 20th Century, the IPA has held International Congresses of Pediatrics every three years. The 23d Congress was in Beijing, China in 2001, the 24th International Congress in Cancun, Mexico in August 2004, the 25th Congress in Athens, Greece in August 2007, and the 26th Congress will be in Johannesburg, South Africa in August 2010. Over the years the IPA has conducted workshops and seminars addressing key child health issues, often in collaboration with WHO and UNICEF.

The IPA is now working to mobilize its extensive network of pediatricians for advocacy and programs in child health, working whenever possible with UN agencies and with other global organizations. Key programs and interest areas include:

  • Better Medicines for Children,
  • Child Health in Sub-Saharan Africa,
  • Childhood Tuberculosis,
  • Children's Environmental Health,
  • Child Health in Humanitarian Emergency,
  • Universal Immunization,
  • Newborn Survival and Health,
  • Child Survival and Health,
  • Nutrition,
  • Adolescent Health,
  • HIV/AIDS, and
  • Quality of Care in Hospitals and Facilities.

In 2002, at the time of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Children, the IPA drafted the New York Call to Action from Pediatricians of the World in conjunction with UNICEF and WHO. This document signaled concern with global child health, noted the urgency of working towards the Millennium Development Goals, and emphasized the importance of country level action and collaborations between stakeholders in child health.

In 2006, the IPA issued a Millennium Call to Action for Pediatricians of the World which speaks to the urgency of attaining the Millennium Development Goals and addressing the broader issues of health for children of the world. This Call to Action notes that all eight Millennium Development Goals have components important to the health of children and families. In August 2007, the IPA Council of Delegates, representing the full IPA membership, voted unanimously to adopt the IPA MDG Project which is geared specifically to country level action addressing MDGs. We are pleased to provide consultation and assistance in all areas of child health in all countries.

Links to the health workforce crisis

IPA works with its Professional Member Societies to define newborn and child health workforce issues at country level throughout the world. The IPA is or has been a member of the Boards of GAVI and the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH), and works extensively with these two international partnerships through the PMNCH we collaborate closely with our Health Care Professional Association colleagues FIGO, ICM, ICN, and FIP across the spectrum of maternal, newborn, and child health. We are also active in civil society organization activities related to GAVI, The High Level Task Force for Finance, and The Global Fund.

At country level we work with National Pediatric Societies to define workforce issues in newborn and child health and to contribute pediatric leadership in assisting all who provide care to newborns and children at all levels.

IPA event annoucement :

The 26th International Pediatric Association Congress of Pediatrics, Johannesburg, South Africa, 4-9 August 2010

IPA Congress 2010