Texas Children's Global Health Corps launches

Today, the first class of Texas Children's Global Health Corps will depart Houston for assignment in Africa. This talented team of pediatricians and family doctors will provide medical care and treatment to thousands of children and families affected by serious or life-threatening medical conditions, including sickle cell disease, malaria, tuberculosis, malnutrition, cancer and HIV/AIDS. The team will also perform clinical research and train local health professionals to build capacity for pediatric health care in some of the world's poorest countries.

Texas Children's Global Health Corps is part of the Texas Children's Center for Global Health and the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI), partnerships between Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine that address major causes of child morbidity and mortality worldwide. Focusing primarily on medically underserved populations in such places as Botswana, Ethiopia, Malawi, Swaziland and Tanzania, Texas Children's Global Health Corps hopes to improve the health and lives of children and families globally.

The Texas Children's Global Health Corps is a successor to the landmark Pediatric AIDS Corps, founded by BIPAI in 2005, which has trained and sent about 150 pediatricians and family doctors to Africa to help scale up medical programs for children and families affected by HIV/AIDS. BIPAI now provides HIV/AIDS treatment to about 80,000 children - more than any other program worldwide. The Texas Children's Global Health Corps will build on this experience and expand the scope beyond HIV/AIDS to include other diseases and conditions impacting child health. The initial geographic focus will be on Ethiopia, Malawi, Tanzania, Botswana and Swaziland, with plans in place to diversify to sites in Asia and Latin America.

"We are incredibly proud of this group of caring and selfless young physicians who are ready to rise to the challenge of providing medical care to some of the world's poorest and least fortunate children and families," said Dr. Mark W. Kline, physician-in-chief at Texas Children's Hospital, chair of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine and founder of the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative. "It is an honor to send this first official class of the Texas Children's Global Health Corps to fulfill the shared mission and obligation of Texas Children's Center for Global Health - to provide needed medical care both for children in our own backyard and for those worldwide."

More than 8 million children die each year from largely preventable diseases like malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia and tuberculosis.

The doctors with Texas Children's Global Health Corps will provide high-quality medical care to children and families and hands-on education and training for local health professionals. They head off to assignment sites in Africa after completing an intensive four-week training course in Houston focused on tropical and travel medicine and HIV/AIDS. The first class of Texas Children's Global Health Corps includes: Dr. Anu Agrawal, Dr. Jason Bacha, Dr. Liane Campbell, Dr. Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Dr. Lauren Hall, Dr. Mogomotsi Matshaba, Dr. Allyson McKenney, Dr. Sarah Perry, Dr. Nicole Salazar-Austin, Dr. Shannon Shea and Dr. Elizabeth Weiner. You can learn more about the first class of twelve doctors and follow their mission on the Texas Children's Hospital blog.

More information on Texas Children's Center for Global Health and the Texas Children's Global Health Corps can be found at texaschildrens.org or bipai.org.

About Texas Children’s Hospital

Texas Children’s Hospital, a not-for-profit health care organization, is committed to creating a healthier future for children and women throughout the global community by leading in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked as the best children’s hospital in Texas, and among the top in the nation, Texas Children’s has garnered widespread recognition for its expertise and breakthroughs in pediatric and women’s health. The hospital includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; the Feigin Center for pediatric research; Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston; and Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, a second community hospital planned to open in 2017. The organization also created the nation’s first HMO for children, has the largest pediatric primary care network in the country and a global health program that’s channeling care to children and women all over the world. Texas Children’s Hospital is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine. For more information, go to www.texaschildrens.org. Get the latest news by visiting the online newsroom and Twitter at twitter.com/texaschildrens.