I was first formally exposed to Public Health as a medical intern in Trinidad & Tobago. During my post there, I updated our disaster preparedness manual and contributed to sessions on immunisation held under the remit of the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO). In addition, I delivered health promotion on nutrition, achieving healthy lifestyles, and conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.
I was able to further develop this interest throughout my training as a paediatrician. From my very first SHO job (where I learnt about child health surveillance) to my present post as a Consultant Community Paediatrician and Designated Doctor for Looked After Children and Young People.
My route through training highlighted the fact that child public health pervades all aspects of paediatrics and child health. Even the most complex child with the rarest of diseases should access the immunisations necessary to them, they should be offered universal screening including new born hearing and the Guthrie test; and they and their families all benefit from accident reduction strategies, home and road safety schemes, and access to safe play and good nutrition, for example.
As a paediatric trainee, my educational supervisors fostered my interest in this field and I was able to participate in many joint projects with the local public health department. I also completed a Masters in Public Health at Kings College which gave me the framework on which to base my work in the community. I am now able to apply the principles of population health in my current post, contributing to strengthening the delivery of care to our looked after children and applying multiple perspectives to their journey and experience.
I am very excited to be part of this new organisation whose aim is to raise the profile of child public health and promote the health and wellbeing of our children and young people.
Dr Stacy John-Legere
Trainee rep – Child Health