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Wednesday, 29 April 2015, 6:00PM
Museum of London

Suffer the Little Children: The Gradual Improvement in Child Health has Left Newborns Behind

Professor Chris Whitty

Chilhood globally, and in Britain, is now safer than at any time in recorded history, with childhood deaths falling rapidly almost everywhere. Neonatal deaths (those in the first 28 days after birth) have fallen, but much more slowly than in later childhood.

Worldwide, we are approaching a point where almost half of all deaths in children under 5 occur in the first 28 days (neonates), and most of these are in the first week of life. In the UK, most of those who die by the age of 20, do so in the first year, and the highest risk is on the day of birth. 

This lecture will briefly outline the reasons for the fall in child deaths, and then examine in more detail what we can do to reduce neonatal mortality globally, including low income countries and higher income ones such as in the UK.

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Christopher Whitty CB FRCP FMedSci is Gresham Professor of Physic (the term for medicine when the post was created in 1597) at Gresham College. He is also Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England, the UK Government's Chief Medical Adviser, Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department of Health and Social Care and head of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). 

He still practices as an NHS Consultant Physician at University College London Hospitals (UCLH) and the Hospital for Tropical Diseases. He is involved in many day-to-day public health decisions for the UK.

He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He was interim Government Chief Scientific Adviser and Head of the Science and Engineering Profession and was previously Chief Scientific Adviser at the UK Department for International Development (DFID). Before becoming CMO he was Professor of Public and International Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and was previously Visiting Gresham Professor of Public Health.

Professor Whitty has worked as a clinician and in public health and clinical research in the UK, Africa and Asia. He undertook his postgraduate training in epidemiology, economics and medical law.

The major cancers and their prevention and treatment are the theme for his second series of lectures as Gresham Professor of Physic.

Professor Whitty's lectures series are as follows:

2019/20 Cancer: A Fight we are Steadily Winning

2018/19 Infections Diseases: The Oldest Enemy

2017/18 Chronic Diseases

2016/17 Bold Ideas in Medicine

2014/15, 2015/16 Medicine at the Extremes of Life

2013, 2014 and 2016 Imported Infections and Epidemics

All lectures by the Gresham Professors of Physic can be accessed here.

Current Gresham Professor of Medical science

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29 April 2015

Suffer the Little Children: The Gradual Improvement in Child Health has Left Newborns Behind
Professor Chris Whitty

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