The global drive to reduce infant mortality has led to more babies surviving with chronic illness and disability but the developmental outcomes of the survivors remains neglected. The Lancet recently released a comprehensive series on Early Childhood Development (ECD), and emphasises ECD as a holistic approach attending to the child’s physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development.
In 2014, India launched the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Suraksha (RBSK) program, the world’s largest screening program for children, to detect diseases, deficiencies, defects and disabilities. Early Intervention centres were established across the country and screen increasing numbers of children with developmental disabilities; however trained ECD professionals are scarce, especially in remote locations, like the Himalayan State of India Uttarakhand
Measures are needed to evaluate the efficacy of services from the perspective of the families who use them. The status of ECD will be improved by linking robust research initiatives with practice. Inclusive and sustainable approaches involve engagement of families and community, combined with community-based rehabilitation. Collaborative relationships between government agencies, providers and research institutions are also key. This is our opportunity to make a historically invisible population visible to public.
Happiness is seeing your mother smile because of you!
Photographer: Ken Karl
It’s kind of fun to do the impossible!
Photographer: Manik Mandal
I can and I will - watch me!
Photographer: Joe Gidjunis