November 20, 2023

For every child, every right. World Children’s Day

For World Children’s Day 2023, “for every child, every right,” we are highlighting a few stories from the past year that show incredible advances in children’s health research thanks to support from the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation.

World Children’s Day focuses on the rights and health of children worldwide. Its purpose is to draw attention to education, healthcare and protection from exploitation. It is a day to focus on how children can thrive and reach their full potential if we create a nurturing environment.

At the Women and Children’s Health Research Institute (WCHRI), more than 290 researchers are dedicated to improving kids’ health.

Children have unique health needs that differ from adults. Their bodies are still developing and factors affecting them during childhood can have long-term consequences on their health and well-being. Research in children’s health allows us to identify and address these needs, ensuring children receive appropriate care and interventions early in life.

Research in children’s health also reveals inequalities among different groups. This information is critical for creating targeted interventions and policies to reduce health disparities and ensure equitable access to health-care for all children.

Creating positive experiences in a child’s early years allows for a full and healthy lifetime ahead. Read the stories below about the incredible work being done in children’s health research.

Liana Nobre

(photo: WCHRI)

Liana Nobre, a pediatric neuro-oncologist, is looking into a less invasive approach to brain biopsies called a “liquid biopsy” to provide a lower-risk diagnostic test and enable better monitoring afterward and more personalized medicines to treat children with brain tumours.

Read the full story on how Nobre is developing a less invasive way to treat kids with brain cancer >>

Thilinie Rajapakse

(Photo: William Au)

Thilinie Rajapakse, a pediatric neurologist at the Stollery Children’s Hospital, is exploring a new migraine medication to treat young patients. Rajapakse has begun clinical trial recruitment with the help of patient partner Taylor Ness.

Read the full story on how Rajapakse is determined to get ahead of kids’ pain >>

Jacqueline Pei

(Photo: WCHRI)

Neuro–psychologist Jacqueline Pei’s mission is to identify barriers that prevent kids with Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) from accessing mental health services. Pei and her counterpart Carly McMorris are working with front-line health professionals from all over Alberta to brainstorm strategies to mitigate these barriers.

Read more about how Pei and McMorris are developing strategies to improve the mental health of and create a better life for kids with FASD >>

One Child Every Child

(photo: supplied)

The Government of Canada announced they are investing $125 million in the One Child Every Child initiative led by the University of Calgary with WCHRI as an institutional partner to improve child health and wellness in Canada. The initiative addresses disparities in children’s health, particularly for Indigenous children and focuses on pregnant women, infants, and pre-schoolers, employing precision health approaches and addressing mental health conditions. 

Read more about how the One Child Every Child initiative is gearing up to shape the landscape of children’s health research >>

Stephanie Montessanti, Richard Oster and Rhonda Bell

(photos: Willam Au, Curtis Trent, supplied)

Stephanie Montessanti, Richard Oster and Rhonda Bell are co-principal investigators on the Indigenous Healthy Life Trajectories Initiative. They are working to support families across the life cycle and building Indigenous communities’ capacity to lead in health research grounded in Indigenous worldviews on well-being. 

Read the story of how Montessanti, Oster and Bell are working with Indigenous communities to improve children’s well-being >>