Disease Control Priorities: Child & Adolescent Health

Here is a publication that may be of interest to the Children for Health network…

Disease Control Priorities, Third Edition: Volume 8. Child and Adolescent Health and Development.

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Here are Five Key Messages

  1. It takes 21 years (or 8,000 days) for a child to develop into an adult. Throughout this period, there are sensitive phases that shape development. Age-appropriate and condition-specific support is required throughout the 8,000 days if a child is to achieve full potential as an adult.
  2. Investment in health during the first 1,000 days is widely recognized as a high priority, but there is historical neglect of investments in the next 7,000 days of middle childhood and adolescence. This neglect is also reflected in investment in research into these older age-groups.
  3. At least three phases are critical to health and development during the next 7,000 days, each requiring a condition-specific and age-specific response:
    • Middle Childhood Growth and Consolidation Phase (ages 5–9), when infection and malnutrition remain key constraints on development, and mortality rates are higher than previously realized
    • Adolescent Growth Spurt (ages 10–14), when there is a major increase in body mass, and significant physiological and behavioural changes associated with puberty
    • Adolescent Growth and Consolidation Phase (ages 15 to early 20s), bring further brain restructuring, linked with exploration and experimentation, and initiation of behaviours that are life-long determinants of health.
  4. Broadening investment in human development to include scalable interventions during the next 7,000 days can be achieved cost-effectively at modest cost. Two essential packages were identified:
    • the first addresses needs in middle childhood and early adolescence through a school-based approach;
    • the second focuses on older adolescents through a mixed community and media and health systems approach. Both offer high cost-effectiveness and benefit-cost ratios.
  5. Well-designed health interventions in middle childhood and adolescence can leverage the already substantial investment in education, and better design of educational programs can bring better health. The potential synergy between health and education is currently undervalued, and the returns on co-investment are rarely optimized.

Part 4 might be of particular value. These are the contents and page numbers:

  1. The School as a Platform for Addressing Health in Middle Childhood pages 269-286
  2. Platforms For Delivering Adolescent Health Pages 287-305
  3. Packages and Programmes to reach School Age Children: Economic Analysis  355-368
  4. Identifying an Essential Package for Adolescent Health: Economic Analysis 369-384