National Child Abuse Prevention Month is marching right around the corner and upstream advocacy is in the air!
Maltreatment remains one of the most detrimental forces that affect the health and well being of our children. The United States Child Protective Services estimates that approximately 686,000 American children experienced a form of maltreatment in 2012. The United Nations Global Survey on Violence against Children estimates that between 500 million and 1.5 billion children worldwide are exposed to violence. The Global Status Report on Violence Prevention (2014) by the World Health Organization reflects that worldwide violence is on the rise.
One visionary pediatrician decided to transform his vision of a safe, stable nurturing world for children into reality. As a board certified Child Abuse and General Pediatrician, Dr. Aaron Miller has spent 10 years practicing in the Bronx and has also served as a child abuse pediatrician for the Los Angeles County Department of Health and Human Services. To meet his dream of raising child abuse prevention advocacy to a higher level, he founded the Building Regional Alliances to Nurture Child Health Organization. BRANCH was founded in 2013 and serves “to develop the capacity of health care systems to address child maltreatment as a public health issue.”
The development of BRANCH has spurned multiple projects that have helped make the world a safer place for children and have empowered health care providers with the knowledge and skills to better care for pediatric victims of abuse and neglect. Dr. Miller was awarded a consultancy from UNICEF in 2014 to create a partnership with the Malawi Ministry of Health and College of Medicine and Dr. Beatrice Mwagomba to foster One Stop Centers. Twenty-three One Stop Centers now exist in Malawi for the purposes of preventing child abuse and neglect and providing high quality care for abuse victims.
Dr. Miller also assisted in the construction of the curriculum for the ICANHELP resource. The Introduction to Child Abuse and Neglect for Health Professionals course is a 6 hour program designed to assist the multidisciplinary team care for the pediatric victims of abuse and neglect in low resource settings. Typically taught abroad, Dr. Miller recently offered this content at the annual Chadwick Center San Diego International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment.
Abuse and neglect remains a common threat to children internationally. Despite this threat, hope exists within bringing this dark issue into the discourse. Every discussion prompts an opportunity for disseminating knowledge, promoting prevention, and saving lives.
On the second part of HealthCetera that airs at 1:00 on March 24, 2016, on WBAI, 99.5 FM in New York City or streaming at www.wbai.org, CHMP Senior Fellow and pediatric nurse practitioner Kristi Westphaln interviews Dr. Aaron Miller about his work to prevent child abuse. You can also listen to the interview by clicking here:
HealthCetera is sponsored by the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College, City University of New York.