Factors Affecting Child Development in Developing Countries

Introduction: Factors Affecting Child Development in Developing Countries

Sally Grantham-McGregor of the Centre for Health and Development, Institute of Child Health, University College London, U.K., spoke about factors affecting child development in developing countries (Figures 1.1- 1.46) [To download a pdf version of these figures click here].

Dr. Grantham-McGregor based her presentation on a paper she co-authored which was published as part of the Lancet series on child development in developing countries. The references for the papers in that series are noted below (1-3). All references in Dr. Grantham-McGregor’s presentation are fully cited in her original Lancet article.

Dr. Grantham-McGregor described the clear relations between both poverty and stunting and developmental failure. She emphasized the many nutritional, environmental and social factors affecting child development and she described the beneficial effect of improved nutrition and stimulation.

It is clear from Dr. Grantham-McGregor’s work that developmental failure is an enormous problem affecting an estimated 219 million children under 5 years of age. These children are likely to fail in school with implications for future employment. Dr. Grantham-McGregor stressed the urgency of the situation and the need to mount large scale interventions to prevent the intergenerational transmission of poverty.

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References

1. Grantham-McGregor S, Cheung YB, Cueto S, Glewwe P, Richter L, Strupp B; International Child Development Steering Group. Developmental potential in the first 5 years for children in developing countries. Lancet. 2007; 369: 60-70.

2. Walker SP, Wachs TD, Gardner JM, Lozoff B, Wasserman GA, Pollitt E, Carter JA; International Child Development Steering Group. Child development: Risk factors for adverse outcomes in developing countries. Lancet. 2007; 369: 145-157.

3. Engle PL, Black MM, Behrman JR, Cabral de Mello M, Gertler PJ, Kapiriri L, Martorell R, Young ME; International Child Development Steering Group. Strategies to avoid the loss of developmental potential in more than 200 million children in the developing world. Lancet. 2007; 369: 229-242