211414 How are the Children: The State of Pediatric Health in El Salvador

Monday, November 9, 2009: 10:50 AM

Jennifer Kasper, MD, MPH , Doctors for Global Health, Decatur, GA

In the past three decades the people of El Salvador have lived through 12-year civil conflict that resulted in more than one million dead, tortured, disappeared or displaced; and neoliberal (specifically CAFTA) and IMF (in particular SAPs) economic policies that have played role in exacerbating poverty and disparities. As consequence, large numbers of Salvadorans have migrated to US to seek employment. These events have disrupted and divided families and communities. The impact on child health has not been fully described. Doctors for Global Health (DGH) has been working in two areas of the country that were greatly impacted by the conflict and economic policies.


Thorough investigation of child health and human rights indicators in diverse datasets and reports including governmental, non-governmental, WHO, UNICEF, and Global Health Watch.


Focus on exemplary child health indicators and highlight disparities, especially in the following: maternal mortality rates; infant and child mortality rates; rates of moderate and severe malnutrition; educational achievement; violence (ex. participation in gangs, homicide and suicide). Juxtapose data with DGH's experience of accompaniment in Estancia and Santa Marta, El Salvador and their projects and programs related to pediatric health and well-being.


Child health and well-being is bellwether of community health. After decades of rule by the ARENA political party, a member of the FMLN was recently elected president of the country. Reflecting on the current state of child health provides opportunity for advocating for child-friendly policies with this new administration.

Learning Objectives:
Describe child health in El Salvador and identify disparities

Keywords: International Health, Human Rights

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have several years of experience working in community health in Latin America and Africa and have made multiple presentations about the work.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.