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Professor Mitch Blair - Inaugural Lecture

Several members of the Department of Primary Care and Public Health attended the inaugural lecture of Professor Mitch Blair on 8 March 2017. Mitch Blair is Professor of Paediatrics and Child Public Health at Imperial College London; and a consultant paediatrician and specialist in child public health. Professor Blair is a long-standing colleague and academic collaborator, and a great proponent of primary care.

During his lecture, Professor Blair spoke on the topic of "How are the kids? Improving population child health and development". Professor Blair asked his audience to imagine a future where toddlers are given individual health programmes to optimise health and development based on the latest research into public health and personalised medicine. Would this help pick up and even prevent big areas of concern for modern paediatrics, from mental health to allergies he asked?

Preventive childcare dates back to the 19th century’s Boer War, where 40% of the recruits were unfit to be listed, prompting the first survey of healthcare in young people. However, real scientific input only came almost 100 years later. Professor Blair was part of this early community to rigorously assess the value of these programmes culminating in the Healthy Child programme – a pregnancy to adolescent national health programme and a universal health and educational review of all two year olds nationally, 

He went on to describe how we can develop a system that optimises the prevention of disease and promotion of child and youth health and how the UK compares internationally in primary child healthcare.

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