NCDP Perspectives

Pediatrician: If I Saw a Child Mistreated Like ICE Is Doing, I’d Call the Authorities

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This post was originally published on June 28, 2018 in the Daily Beast. The bandwagon of child care and health professionals who have characterized the federal government’s forced separation of migrant children from their parents as “child abuse by government” is overflowing. It would indeed be difficult to concoct a more traumatizing experience for already vulnerable infants and children then what these kids have gone through. The fact is that, as a pediatrician, if I saw a child being subject to the terror these kids are experiencing I would be ethically and legally obliged to contact the authorities.  But wait: The authorities are the perpetrators! And it’s not just psychological trauma these kids are experiencing. There’s rampant child neglect, too, in the detention facilities.  Terrified young children desperately need emotional support from parents and some semblance of a “normal” environment. That’s not happening in the government’s detention centers, or what some call “baby jails.” And to further compound the unabashed cruelty of what the government has done to thousands of

July 26, 2018

We still haven’t made things right in Flint

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This post was originally published on March 7, 2018 in the Washington Post. In many ways my trip last month to Flint, Mich. — now the symbolic epicenter of how bad decisions, bad politics and ill-advised money-saving measures can seriously and permanently harm children — was more depressing than the first time I visited that struggling city in 2016. You’ll recall that in 2014, the state of Michigan, led by Gov. Rick Snyder (R), replaced Flint’s clean, safe water from Detroit’s system

July 26, 2018

How the World is Failing a Generation of Lost Kids

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Where is the international community as million of children grow up fleeing violence, bombarded by extremism, and lacking even the most basic rights? Try wrapping your mind around some numbers just coming to light from reports issued by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) last week: Nearly 2.5 million Syrian children are being kept from school because of the raging violence that has driven many families from their communities, destroyed some 5,000 schools, and seen the loss of more than 50,000 teachers who have been killed, threatened or left Syria. It’s worth noting that prior to the disastrous and still raging civil war, the Syrian educational system was doing well, with universal education and high literacy rates. Forget all that. The persistent violence has caused many children to lose years of educational opportunity. The African terrorist militia group, Boko Haram, has forced some 1.4 million children and their families

September 21, 2015

Ebola Recovery: The Long View

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[Written February 2015] While the Ebola crisis has quietly exited mainstream media and public interest (Figure 1), over 15,000, Ebola survivors [1], [2] struggle to regain a semblance of normalcy in a complex environment of pre-existing poverty

September 9, 2015