A Silent Emergency in Early Childhood Development

Uttarakhand, Dehradun Valley from Landour, India. Image: Paul Hamilton via Wikimedia, Creative Commons License
Image credit
Uttarakhand, Dehradun Valley from Landour, India. Image: Paul Hamilton via Wikimedia, Creative Commons License

Most childhood health programs focus on mitigating infectious or chronic diseases; very few focus on development of the babies that live. Early childhood development interventions go beyond survival; they save social capital in the long term—a concept reinforced by The Lancet’s 2016 Early Childhood Development series.
 
The number of children diagnosed with developmental and other disabilities is only increasing—posing a silent emergency. 1 in 68 children could have Autism Spectrum Disorder—and that’s just 1 condition. Developmental disabilities are plenty. Why do they draw so little attention?
 
It’s not about pity or sympathy. It’s about human rights and social justice.

I’ve seen the potential of interventions and advocacy firsthand in my work with children with disabilities in Dehradun, the capital city of the Himalayan state of India, Uttarakhand. With intentionality and investment, we can build a more inclusive world—which works better for everyone, and saves a tremendous amount of resources.—Shubha Nagesh 
 
Shubha Nagesh is a medical doctor, a global health advocate, and a senior Atlantic Fellow in Global Health Equity. She works with The Latika Roy Foundation in Dehradun, India, and strives to make childhood disability a global health priority. 
  

Comments +

0 comments

Post a Comment

Restricted HTML

  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Back to top