Early Childhood Development Programs in Low Middle-Income Countries for Rearing Healthy Children: A Systematic Review LE01-LE07
Dr. Zahiruddin Quazi Syed,
Research House; Sawangi (Meghe), Wardha, Maharashtra, India.
Introduction: Early Childhood Development (ECD) includes physical, social, emotional, cognitive and motor development in first eight years of life. Positive parenting, strong families, and encouraging, stimulating environments are critical to a child's early development.
Aim: To assess the efficacy of stimulation programs for improving ECD in Low and Middle-income Countries (LMICs).
Materials and Methods: Observational and randomised controlled trials that examined the efficacy of different programs for improving ECD in LMICs were included. Studies were identified through systematic searches of bibliographic databases in July 2018 and were further updated in February 2019. The findings of the included studies were narratively described.
Results: The evidences in hand indicate that early stimulation interventions can avert early inequalities and encourage cognitive and socio-emotional development in young children and can also improve maternal outcomes. These effects tend to sustain over a long term. More research is also required to identify the comparative effectiveness of different modes of delivery and cost-benefit of early stimulation interventions.
Conclusion: Current evidences advocate that interventions for improving ECD can help in preventing the loss of development in disadvantaged children and those amendments can ensue quickly. The health sector can play a crucial role as it has the potential to reach families, and can provide efficient interventions for optimum child development.