Armed conflict affects one in 10 children and over the past few decades, many urban areas have become direct targets, often producing large numbers of casualties that outstrip the ability of the local health care system to provide the required care. The destruction of medical and public health infrastructures make it difficult to treat sick or injured children and not enough focus is placed on providing adequate care by professionals with expertise in paediatric emergency medicine. Children with acute or chronic medical conditions are often equally at risk as those with traumatic injuries and the high mortality of these patients suggests that untreated medical conditions can be more lethal than the weapons of war.
During a mission to Northern Iraq in 2018, Sally Becker enlisted the help of a team of paediatric specialists lending their expertise via remote consultations. Following the success of the mission, she began designing the concept for the Save a Child digital platform.
Due to the accessibility of the app, specialists can enter challenging environments without the need to put themselves at risk. During public health crises, the Save a Child app can support healthcare workers by giving advice on diagnoses and treatment. This can also contribute to data collection by providing a comprehensive tool for use in investigation and outbreaks of infectious and non-infectious diseases and hazards.
The Save a Child mobile app will give aid organisations, hospitals, and emergency healthcare workers access to a global paediatric network - helping to bridge the gap that currently exists in paediatric emergency care.