EPA-UNEPSA JOINS AND STRONGLY SUPPORTS THE IPA STATEMENT ON SAFETY AND HEALTH OF CHILDREN LIVING IN UKRAINE


IPA Statement on Safety and Health of Children Living in Ukraine The International Pediatric Association (IPA) is deeply concerned for the safety and health condition of all children who are suffering and affected due to the war between Ukraine and Russia. We also very concerned for the children for now refugees in neighboring countries. Children are often the innocent victims during armed conflicts. In alignment with the IPA constitution and on behalf of all children, we call on all international communities to take the necessary measures in support of the safety and well-being of children affected by the war in Ukraine. Exposure to war and violent acts adversely affects the life trajectory of children far more than adults. Apart from the potential for loss of live, physical injury and disability, disruption of their daily lives, schooling, parental and family support could lead to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health issues. Poor nutrition, insufficient water safety, poor sanitation, loss of housing, limited access to healthcare, increased risk of communicable diseases, with population movement all contribute to impact war have on children. As pediatricians, we are committed to the health and well-being of children from all racial and ethnic backgrounds. By ensuring these rights, only then we can protect children and secure their future. Today in Ukraine, a child may lose his or her live, become injured or disabled, loose a parent or a family member, learning opportunity at school, time to live as a child and play with friends. Their lives will not be the same when the war ends and they will carry the scars of the distress they endured for the rest of their lives. This letter serves as the official position statement and we invite the international community to make every effort for the war to end as soon as possible, in the interest of protecting children's safety, wellbeing, education, and health in Ukraine. We should all strive for fair, equal, and dignified treatment of children. We should protect the rights of children to be protected from harm throughout the fighting, and their safety must be a priority under the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). In addition, humanitarian supplies including food and medical supplies to the families and children should be ensured as generous and efficient. These actions are imperative to prevent the detrimental effects of war on psychological and physical health over children.

EPA-UNEPSA joins IPA in: working for Every Child, Every Age, Everywhere
Prof. Enver Hasanoğlu President , Prof. Aman Pulungan IPA Executive Director
Massimo Pettoello-Mantovani, President EPA-UNEPSA (IPA Member Society)

History

A brief overview

The Union of National European Paediatric Societies and Associations (UNEPSA) was founded in 1976 in Rotterdam by 18 European countries. Thirty years later, an article (European Journal of Pediatrics, 2007, vol. 166, no4, pp. 349-357) was co-authored by former presidents and secretaries general, in order to present a retrospective on the activities and achievements of UNEPSA. For an overview of the article with the detailed UNEPSA history, please click here.

In the first 30 years of its existence UNEPSA created a forum for the mutual discussion of matters concerning paediatrics. Early on it became clear that the diversity of paediatric care in different countries in Europe is extreme. During the "cold war", UNEPSA was able to cross boundaries between socialist and capitalist countries in Europe, and it was due to the activity of individual members of the UNEPSA council that clinical co-operation and research activities were initiated crossing many political borders.

In 2007, UNEPSA was renamed European Paediatric Association (EPA/UNEPSA) and a revised constitution was introduced and approved by the General Assembly. EPA/UNEPSA continues the work of UNEPSA and maintains its character and activities.

Annual meetings of national paediatric presidents focus on the most urgent problems of paediatric health care. "Europaediatrics" is now a biennial congress for all general paediatricians and paediatric sub-specialists in Europe. The main research activities of EPA/UNEPSA concentrate on identifying the demography of primary, secondary and tertiary care paediatrics in Europe. EPA/UNEPSA constantly plans new activities in an effort to demonstrate that it is an active paediatric association counting 38 member countries and representing today more than three quarters of all European countries.

After more than 30 years, EPA/UNEPSA is still an expanding and vital instrument in improving the medical care of all children and the co-operation of their carers in Europe.