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Partnerships for Global Child Health

Steenhoff AP, Crouse HL, Lukolyo H, Larson CP, Howard C, Mazhani L, Pak-Gorstein S, Niescierenko ML, Musoke P, Marshall R, Soto MA, Butteris SM, Batra M, American Board of Pediatrics Global Health Task Force
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Child mortality remains a global health challenge and has resulted in demand for expanding the global child health (GCH) workforce over the last 3 decades. Institutional partnerships are the cornerstone of sustainable education, research, clinical service, and advocacy for GCH. When successful, partnerships can become self-sustaining and support development of much-needed training programs in resource-constrained settings. Conversely, poorly conceptualized, constructed, or maintained partnerships may inadvertently contribute to the deterioration of health systems. In this comprehensive, literature-based, expert consensus review we present a definition of partnerships for GCH, review their genesis, evolution, and scope, describe participating organizations, and highlight benefits and challenges associated with GCH partnerships. Additionally, we suggest a framework for applying sound ethical and public health principles for GCH that includes 7 guiding principles and 4 core practices along with a structure for evaluating GCH partnerships. Finally, we highlight current knowledge gaps to stimulate further work in these areas. With awareness of the potential benefits and challenges of GCH partnerships, as well as shared dedication to guiding principles and core practices, GCH partnerships hold vast potential to positively impact child health.