News — May 07, 2002

PAHO/WHO-JCI Agreement Endorsed at Area C Conference

Endorsing the agreement, from left, PAHO/WHO Representative in the Dominican Republic Dr. Socorro Gross, JCI President Salvador (Salvi) Batlle, and JCI Executive Vice President Lars Hajslund. A Regional Agreement between Junior Chamber International (JCI) and the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) advocating the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) in the Americas was endorsed at the Area C Conference in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The objective of this agreement, which will be submitted for ratification to the Midyear Executive Meeting (MYE), is to promote the participation of National Junior Chambers in preventing childhood deaths through IMCI's Healthy Children: Goal 2002 Initiative.
Each year, around 170,000 children under the age of 5 die in the Americas. Applying basic preventive measures or seeking timely assistance from health professionals will prevent many of these deaths. What is IMCI? IMCI, created by WHO and UNICEF, is an integrated approach to child health that focuses on the well-being of the whole child. IMCI aims to reduce death, illness and disability, and to promote improved growth and development among children under 5 years of age. IMCI includes both preventive and curative elements that are implemented by families and communities as well as by health facilities. IMCI Strategy In health facilities, the IMCI strategy promotes the accurate identification of childhood illnesses in outpatient settings, ensures appropriate combined treatment of all major illnesses, strengthens the counseling of caretakers, and speeds up the referral of severely ill children. In the home setting, it promotes appropriate care seeking behaviors, improved nutrition and preventative care, and the correct implementation of prescribed care. JCI and PAHO/WHO would agree to: -- Combine efforts with national, district and local authorities to strengthen the leadership, political commitment, and necessary follow up to establish the framework and the associations that will lead to effective decision-making processes in homes and communities, and to provide the required resources. -- Offer cooperation to nongovernmental organizations, in conjunction with the government and other entities, so they strive to find and apply effective community and family strategies. -- Look for alliances with international and national associations to establish effective links between IMCI and other means to improve child health at home and in the community. -- Make a special effort to guarantee survival, health, growth and development rights to children in general, especially to those who are harder to reach. JCI would agree to: -- Promote, support, and encourage the application and expansion of IMCI to constantly improve child survival, health and nutrition in the Americas and the Caribbean region, in close collaboration with the private sector. -- Actively endeavor to develop community actions carried out by chapters to promote and implement 16 Key Practices. -- Promote a coordinating meeting to create a technical group at the national and community level to ensure that all JCI chapters receive the appropriate support. PAHO/WHO would agree to: -- Provide the required technical support to JCI at the regional, national, and local levels. -- Help develop common PAHO/WHO-JCI databases (websites). -- Promote the sharing of experiences by visiting countries and training Jaycees in IMCI community methodology. -- Inform other national and international agencies, bilateral agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) about this resolution, and request their participation. JCI President Salvador (Salvi) Batlle, JCI Executive Vice President Lars Hajslund, and PAHO/WHO Representative in the Dominican Republic Dr. Socorro Gross endorsed the agreement, which will be submitted to the Midyear Executive Meeting (MYE) for ratification. At a PAHO/WHO-JCI workshop during the Conference, Bolivia Junior Chamber, as well as the French Department Chapter in Area C and the Sao Paulo Metropolitan Chapter (Brazil), discussed PAHO/WHO-related projects they were already implementing. By supporting this PAHO/WHO-JCI Agreement and taking part in IMCI's Healthy Children: Goal 2002 Initiative, Junior Chamber members in the Americas will help improve children's health, ensuring a brighter future for their communities, their countries, and the whole region.
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