2020 IAC Update

The International Affairs Committee (IAC) continues to meet monthly. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has led to disruption of in-person meetings, the IAC continues to provide input and guidance to the IDWeek and ESPID planning committees advancing the pediatric global health agenda. The IAC members completed a comprehensive review on SARS-CoV-2 infection in children. Several IAC members contributed to a review article on pediatric SARS-CoV-2 experience in the United States during the early months in a collaborative effort along with PIDS colleagues.

Although the St. Jude/PIDS Pediatric Infectious Diseases Research Conference was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in collaboration with St. Jude colleagues, IAC developed a comprehensive program with a focus on global health to be presented at the meeting. The preparatory work included career toolkit development for trainees based in North America and trainees based in international settings, mentorship and roundtable discussions on selected topics such as clinical research and practice, infection prevention and control, education, policy, and antibiotic stewardship.

Due to the generosity of the PIDS Board, the IAC was able to award 18 travel grants for students and trainees to attend the meeting. The plan is that awardees will be able to apply these funds to attend a future St. Jude/PIDS Research Conference to further their exploration of opportunities combining pediatric ID and global health. To respond to the goal of engaging trainees from diverse backgrounds, IAC will seek to add two additional trainees to the cohort with plans to continue ongoing virtual mentoring and engagement.

In collaboration with the Australasian and New Zealand Society for Infectious Diseases (ANZPID), Dr. Jana Shaw worked with pediatric infectious disease fellow, Dr. Danielle Daniels and submitted a journal club article to January 2020 issue of the online ANZPID Journal Club and Quiz.

The European Society for Pediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID) meeting will be held virtually from October 25-29, 2020. The combined PIDS/ESPID session will focus on Kawasaki Disease and include speakers from ANZPID, Dr. David Burgner, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Australia, and Dr. Kevin Friedman, a pediatric cardiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital. The speakers will discuss the North American and European/Australian approaches to the use of corticosteroids and the long-term cardiovascular impact of Kawasaki Disease.

The combined PIDS/ESPID symposium scheduled to be held as virtual meeting will focus on pediatric refugee health with discussions of immigration and refugee health in the face of global infectious disease outbreaks. Albertine Baauw, representing the European perspective and Elizabeth Barnett, representing the North American perspective are slated to present viewpoints and approaches from both sides of the pond. We look forward to virtual attendance by PIDS members.