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Open AccessReview

Early Intervention for Children at High Risk of Developmental Disability in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Narrative Review

1
Centre for Academic Child Health, University of Bristol, 1-5 Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8 1NU, UK
2
Maternal, Adolescent, Reproductive & Child Health, Department of Infectious Diseases Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London WC1E 7HT, UK
3
Neonatal Medicine, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London NW1 2BU, UK
4
MRC/UVRI & LSHTM Uganda Research Unit, Entebbe P.O.Box 49, Uganda
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(22), 4449; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16224449
Received: 11 October 2019 / Revised: 1 November 2019 / Accepted: 8 November 2019 / Published: 13 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Community Child Health)
In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), while neonatal mortality has fallen, the number of children under five with developmental disability remains unchanged. The first thousand days are a critical window for brain development, when interventions are particularly effective. Early Childhood Interventions (ECI) are supported by scientific, human rights, human capital and programmatic rationales. In high-income countries, it is recommended that ECI for high-risk infants start in the neonatal period, and specialised interventions for children with developmental disabilities as early as three months of age; more data is needed on the timing of ECI in LMICs. Emerging evidence supports community-based ECI which focus on peer support, responsive caregiving and preventing secondary morbidities. A combination of individual home visits and community-based groups are likely the best strategy for the delivery of ECI, but more evidence is needed to form strong recommendations, particularly on the dosage of interventions. More data on content, impact and implementation of ECI in LMICs for high-risk infants are urgently needed. The development of ECI for high-risk groups will build on universal early child development best practice but will likely require tailoring to local contexts. View Full-Text
Keywords: developmental disability; low- and middle-income countries; early childhood intervention; newborn developmental disability; low- and middle-income countries; early childhood intervention; newborn
MDPI and ACS Style

Kohli-Lynch, M.; Tann, C.J.; Ellis, M.E. Early Intervention for Children at High Risk of Developmental Disability in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Narrative Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 4449.

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