ISPCAN Members in Action Spotlight

At ISPCAN, our greatest resource is YOU, our members, and the vast expertise, experience and efforts you bring to the treatment and prevention of child abuse and neglect around the world.  We want to do more to bring value to your ISPCAN membership and most importantly, to get to know each one of you better.  To achieve this objective, we would like to introduce our Members In Action spotlight.
SPACE
Each month we will highlight an ISPCAN member and how they impact child welfare in their regions. Our goal is to highlight EVERY member to better understand how each of you contribute and make a difference in the lives of children in your region.  

Meet Maha Almuneef

Ministry of National Guard for Health Affairs
and ISPCAN Councilor

Discipline, Organization, and Title:  National Family Safety Program 
Country or Countries you work in: Saudi Arabia

What inspires you when you are working to keep going despite the challenges?
Working with children and for children is the most rewarding, addressing a sensitive issue in a conservative country is the most challenging, and finally being recognized for your work is the most inspiring. Recognition of child abuse and neglect started in Saudi Arabia only in the new millennium and within 10 years we were able to draft a law that criminalize the act and provide services to vulnerable children. In addition, we were recognized as country partner by ISPCAN and won the best multidisciplinary team award in 2014 and we received the award in ISPCAN conference in JAPAN

Is there a win or a case with an abused or neglected child that sticks with you that can generally share and how you played a role?
The first case of child abuse I treated in Saudi Arabia was during my on-call as an attending in general pediatrics at King Abdulaziz Medical City for the National Guard (KAMC-NG) in 1999. At that time there were no child protection policies, no medical or social teams, and no professionals trained to take care of these cases. Since then I was able to change the response of my country to child abuse
What are some ways that you handle the stress of working in the field of child welfare? 
Talking to colleagues through ISPCAN and learning from their experiences

Where in the world would you wish to go next with ISPCAN if you could choose?  
Our next conference in Prague


Meet Alon Yulevich


Domestic Violence Prevention Committee

Discipline, Organization, and Title:     Senior Pediatric Surgeon, Expert on Child Abuse and Neglect. Head of the “Domestic Violence Prevention Committee” GALIL MEDICAL CENTER. Lecturer (Pediatric Surgery,Anatomy, Child Abuse & Neglect), Faculty of Medicine, Bar-Ilan University. Pediatric specialist at “Beit Lynn”, Child Protection Center.

Country or Countries you work in:     Israel
What inspires you when you are working to keep going despite the challenges?
The helping of children, those are so dependable and weak at an adult-prone society. When you succeed in helping a neglected & abused child you give him full lifespan ahead! The work is indeed very hard and challenging, in our adult society. In Israel, all physicians who work in that field are pediatricians, pediatric surgeons or gynecology experts; and all of us are doing that work voluntarily. Understanding the severity of child abuse & neglect problem in Israel is in delay comparing to the group of developed countries, and there is much more to be done in that field.

Is there a win or a case with an abused or neglected child that sticks with you that you can generally share and how you played a role? 

On 2004 a 4 months old baby arrived to the emergency room at the “Galil Medical Center – Nahariya” with unexplained apathy. After careful examination by a pediatrician, because his fontanelle seemed slightly full he was sent for fundus examination before lumbar puncture. Bilateral retinal hemorrhage was confirmed by Pediatric Ophthalmology Specialist in both eyes. Blood tests, including coagulation tests, where unremarkable except for anemia. I was called for consultation and thought of “shaken baby syndrome” diagnosis, which was confirmed after brain CT showing diffuse brain hematomas and contusions at different ages. No head trauma was found.

Parents were attorneys, the baby was their first child, and the talk with them about the problem was difficult. They did not accept the diagnosis and demanded on going to a larger hospital. After direct talk between all staff members (social workers, nurses and doctors) the baby was transferred to the Pediatric Neurosurgery department at a large hospital in Tel-Aviv. I still remember my talks with the head of that department. He was not aware that bilateral retinal hemorrhage in such an infant is pathognomonic. After 2 days he called me back, after examining the infant and reading the literature, to tell me I was right.

Only fifteen years ago even highly specialized doctors were unaware to that diagnosis!  The baby was treated well by the health and social system, stayed with his parents, and developed well.

What are some ways that you handle the stress of working in the field of Child Welfare?  Special group meetings of the staff at the “Child Protection Centre” with a psychologist, focused on that problem.

Where in the world would you wish to go next with ISPCAN if you could choose? 
Singapore


Meet Sanyaolu Shulammite Ajasa

The SHULAMMITE INITIATIVE 

Discipline, Organization, and Title:  Professor, The Shulammite Initiative

Country or Countries you work in:     Nigeria

What inspires you when you are working to keep going despite the challenges?   The happiness on the faces of the children, and the way they assimilate and appreciate the knowledge and passing disseminating. The lecture am giving the different schools is Free of charges.

Is there a win or a case with an abused or neglected child that sticks with you that you can generally share and how you played a role?   I have handled a particular case of a neighbor that abuses a 12 year old girl.
What are some ways that you handle the stress of working in the field of Child Welfare?     Working on harmony with my team
Where in the world would you wish to go next with ISPCAN if you could choose?  America


Meet Pragathi Tummala


Executive Director of ISPCAN

Discipline, Organization, and Title:  Public health , Exec Director, ISPCAN
Country or Countries you work in: USA Based- global organization 

What inspires you when you are working to keep going despite the challenges?
Children who are helpless and who are mistreated, harmed and robbed of a normal, happy childhood that everyone deserves make me want to work harder. It really makes me upset that children pay the price for this when they have done nothing wrong. Children are precious, and born so full of unconditional love. When that light is dampened by harmful people around them and they are have no way of fighting back, this injustice is mind boggling.  I want to be part of a solution to end violence. I believe each of us has the power to change the world. As a mom of 3, ISPCAN’s mission is one of my heart.

Is there a win or a case with an abused or neglected child that sticks with you that can generally share and how you played a role?
I do not directly work with abused children in my job now, but the images that are burned in my heart are those of neglected children all over the world that wash up on the shores, that are treated like garbage and enslaved in marriage before they are even 16. One little boy I worked with when I volunteered with Big Brothers / Big Sisters organization out of college in the ghettos of Chicago, was a 6 year old boy named Juan. His father was in jail, and his mother was an alcoholic. He would dress himself and board a bus at 6am on Saturday just to come play with me and have someone who cared to spend time with him. He would look at me with these eyes that were so desperate for love and attention. I will never forget him. 

What are some ways that you handle the stress of working in the field of child welfare? 
Hug my 3 children, drive with the windows open singing along to my favorite songs, and walking my dog. I also take pride in the good work ISPCAN does to be part of the solution to end violence against children and feel grateful that I can be part of an organization every day that has such an important mission.  I also lean on my team and my councilors who are great people to share our worries.  This field draws together amazing people with big hearts.

Where in the world would you wish to go next with ISPCAN if you could choose?

Prague and Montego Bay are our next stops for ISPCAN conferences, and they are both amazing.  Please stop by our booth and say hello! As for the future, I would say EVERYWHERE 🙂  I love meeting people from all different cultures and exploring the world.

SPACE

Please help us get to know YOU better by allowing us to highlight you
and your work in our next spotlight.

Just click on the button below and fill out the form.

We look forward to introducing you to your fellow ISPCAN Members! 

Members in Action Form