OVER 1,800 pediatric experts from more than 70 countries across the globe attended the 10th World Congress of the World Society for Pediatric Infectious Diseases (WSPID), which kicked off at the Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center on Saturday.
Hosted by WSPID and co-organized by Shenzhen Children's Hospital and Chinese Pediatric Society of the Chinese Medical Association, the congress is a top-level international academic conference for pediatric infectious diseases. It is the first time that the congress has been held in China.
"The mission of WSPID is to improve the clinical care of children with infections around the world, especially in middle-income countries," said Prof. Jim Buttery, president of WSPID.
He said there are a number of hot topics at this conference, such as issues around improving antimicrobial use as well as improving diagnosis so people can better understand what is causing infections in children.
"As we improve our ability to understand what's causing infections in children, we can start to use antimicrobial drugs more wisely, which will hopefully reduce the risk of resistance caused by overuse of antibiotics," Prof. Buttery said. "In return, that will improve the health of our children because we won't have to use more and more rare antibiotics to treat those infections."
The Action Plan for the Rational Use of Antibiotics in Chinese Children was released after the conference's opening ceremony Saturday night. The action plan is aimed at promoting the rational use of antibiotics in children and curbing the development of drug-resistant bacteria in China in the coming five to 10 years.
The action plan urges the Chinese authorities and hospitals to set up supervision networks to monitor the use of antibiotics in children and intervene in a timely manner when antibiotics are misused.
As over 75 percent of antimicrobial drugs are used to treat respiratory infections, the action plan calls for authorities to develop new anti-inflammatory drugs and enhance the vaccination rate to reduce the unnecessary use of antibiotics for respiratory infections.
Infectious diseases are the top killer of children below 5 years old around the world. Statistics show that 13 million children die of infectious diseases each year globally, accounting for 63 percent of the total deaths of children. Pneumonia, HIV, diarrhea, measles and malaria are the main causes of death in children with infectious diseases.
Over 700 of the attendees to the four-day conference are medical workers and experts from more than 70 countries, such as Australia, France, Canada, the United Kingdom and Greece.
"Top-notch pediatric experts from across the globe have brought their latest research findings to the conference, which will improve the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric infectious diseases in Shenzhen and China," said Prof. Yang Yonghong, president of the Asian Society for Pediatric Infectious Disease.