“A Broken Promise,” Advances and Challenges in Infant, Child, and Young People’s Morbidity and Mortality

Date of event: 
September 21, 2020 - September 23, 2020
Submission deadline: 
April 3, 2020
Evora, Portugal

We are pleased to announce the next workshop of the EAPS Health, Morbidity and Mortality Working Group, which will be hosted by the Department of Sociology and the CICS.NOVA.UÉvora, Interdisciplinary Centre of Social Sciences at the University of Évora, Portugal, from the 21st to 23rd September, 2020. The theme of the workshop will be: “A broken promise: Advances and challenges in infant, child and young people’s morbidity and mortality" (Call for Papers attached). Please submit abstracts to Jon Anson (anson@bgu.ac.il) and Rosalina Pisco Costa (rosalina@uevora.pt) by Friday, 3rd April 2020. We hope to have responses by the beginning of May.

Évora, a town of about 60,000 inhabitants, 135 km east of Lisbon, is one of the oldest towns in Europe, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The walled town centre still bears witness to its long history, including buildings from the Roman, Arab, Medieval Portuguese and Contemporary periods. The University of Évora was first founded, by the Jesuits, in 1559 and operated until the Jesuit expulsion in 1759. The new University of Évora was inaugurated in late 1970s and today has more than 8,000 students in four Schools (Arts, Social Sciences, Science and Technology and Nursing) and the Advanced Research and Training Institute. You can take a tour over the main building of the university, The Colégio do Espírito Santo, here, or read up here, and know more about the host city, Évora, here or here.

As usual, there will be no fee for the workshop, but participants are expected to pay for their their own travel and accommodation. We shall publicise more details on the venue in the spring, to assist participants in deciding on accommodation.

Infant and child mortality have long been, and remain, critical markers of a population's well-being. Today, looking at rates in lowest mortality populations, we appreciate that (effectively) all such mortality is avoidable. The root causes of infant and child mortality are economic (standards of living), social (patterns of relationships) and political (social policies). Yet, even as mortality declines, childhood mortality persists and children continue to die. In some regions, these deaths challenge public authorities and global NGOs, who remain powerless to prevent them; other regions face new disease manifestations thought to have been eradicated long ago. Differences persist, between less and more-developed countries and regions across the world and, within these, by gender, racial and ethnic origin, and social class.

This workshop will focus on mapping these differences and understanding how they may be overcome. We shall examine, inter alia, the role of vaccination, early-childhood nutrition, sanitation, clean water, and targeted interventions for specific diseases – but also those of intentional and non-intentional injuries; war and political violence, road injuries, suicide and interpersonal violence. What are the risk factors in infants’ , children’s and young people’s health, morbidity and mortality today? What are the roles of disease and injury on the one hand, of social and economic insecurity on the other? What can we learn from recent and localised increases in children’s mortality and how are all these related to continuing, and growing, social inequalities, within and between world regions and countries? Answers to these, and other, questions can help us reach a sustained understanding why children and young people continue to die unnecessarily, and how we may improve their life and health and prevent their premature death.

Download Call for Papers in PDF