Published: 01-10-2021 15:11 | Updated: 18-11-2021 10:35

Retreat “Global Child Health & SDGs” team

Participants at the Global Child Health & SDG miniretreat.
Participants at the Global Child Health & SDG miniretreat.

To start off a productive academic year the Global Child Health and SDGs team met at Hagströmer Medical Library for the annual mini-retreat with keynote speakers Mariam Claeson and Kelly Elimian, group discussions, guided tour of the library and lunch at Stallmästaregården Restaurant.

The day began with an introduction welcome by group leader Tobias Alfvén, around the table/screen introduction of the participants, focusing on research, field of expertise and book recommendations to the rest of the group.

Presentation by Mariam Claeson
Presentation by Mariam Claeson.

Keynote speaker Mariam Claeson

The first keynote speaker of the day was Mariam Claeson who gave the presentation “Possibilities and Challenges for global child health during the coming ten years”.

To summarize the presentation began with the progress on child survival from the past decade and future directions in measuring progress on child health: covid- 19 effects, integrated framework for women’s, maternal, and child health & nutrition, developing future health scenarios for policymaking and local estimates of cause-specific and age-specific disease burden (gaps: school age children (missing middle), adolescents).

Problems on MNCA mortality and/or well-being holding back progress on MNCAHN related SDG targets were presented: Gap in evidence, policy, implementation, lack of consensus on strategy, or that the size of investment is not commensurate with the magnitude of the problem. Disconnect between problem and level of investment, example: Adolescent Mental Health.

Lastly KI’s role was discussed: Evidence based platform for Research cum Activism, fight false dichotomies “a whole of government approach” à “a whole of science approach”, KI global public health lead by example on child health and SDGs. Break the silos within institutions and between institutions!

Group picture from Global Child Health and SDGd mini-retreat.

Keynote speaker Kelly Elimian

The second keynote speaker was Kelly Elimian presenting “Child health in Nigeria – today and tomorrow”.  He began by presenting the past situation of child health in Nigeria. Olikoye Ransome-Kuti: Free immunisation for children; family planning programmes, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) in 1992, expanded PHC to all local governments, universal child immunization of over 80%, devolution of responsibility for PHC to local government areas. Military takeover of government in 1993 change in public health.

Then moving on to the present. Nigeria failed to meet MDG 4, achieving an average of 1.2% annual reduction in under-five mortality. An annual reduction rate of 10% in the five years leading to 2015 required. Majority of the interventions targeting MNCH commenced after 2000. Mothers’ level of education effects vaccination rate, care-seeking for children with fever or symptoms of acute respiratory infection. Child health and infectious diseases of public health importance: cholera, COVID-19—largely indirect impacts, yellow fever, meningitis and polio.Persistence of inequality and traditional practices. Protentional to make health care available and accessible to all children by 2030.

Lastly key foci for the future: Focusing interventions on northern Nigeria. Empowering mothers/women through education. Active community engagement.

Guided group discussion

After the inspiring keynote presentations, a guided group discussion took place. The participants were divided in two groups (online/in person) and asked to discuss on the following topics “Based on Mariam & Kelly’s talks, discuss Child health research challenges that we should take on as a team? And what can we do better as a team? Where and how should we develop?”

The main topics that emerged were the following:

Online group:

  • Improve the communication of why child health care interventions should be implemented in LMICs
  • Explore the possibility of integrating child health and antenatal/pregnancy care given limited human and capital resources
  • Explore the possibility of embedding universal health coverage into health security in LMICs given limited resources
  • Focus on adolescent health given the absence of negligence by global health institutions 

Offline group:

  • Urban context and mixed health systems which don’t sit into traditional views.
  • What’s the interplay between food, environment and health. Is health the solution? Adaptation and mitigation.
  •  Different types of data, away from traditional research data thinking, and to link this to disaggregated data.
  • Can we address these more through methods, rather than taking these as distinct topics.
  • And then how to link this to politics and then research to action

For those participating in person, a guided tour of Hagströmer Medical Library which is world-renown for its unique collection was given by Anna Lantz, the library curator.  She showed the participants the library’s exhibition with different types of techniques used for printing images in medical books.

The event ended with lunch at Stallmästaregården Restaurant, where the informal scientific discussion and sharing continued.


Date: 2021-08-25 | 9:00 am – 13:30 pm
Place: Hagströmer Medical Library | Zoom

Mariam Claeson

Project manager
K9 Department of Global Public Health

Kelly Elimian

Postdoctoral researcher
K9 Department of Global Public Health


Miriam Mosesson Research assistant