In developing countries, one-third of children 3 and 4 years old don’t reach basic milestones in cognitive and/or socioemotional growth, according to a new study published in PLoS Medicine on June 7, 2016. The study, funded by the Government of Canada through Grand Challenges Canada, was conducted by faculty and researchers from GHP here at the Harvard Chan School, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Imperial College London, Aga Khan University (Pakistan), and Ifakara Health Institute, Tanzania.
“Achieving optimal early child health and development is critical for attaining success in school, and has significant lifelong implications for the health and economic well-being of individuals, families and communities,” says the project’s principal investigator and Chair of GHP Wafaie Fawzi. The study draws on data provided by the caregivers of almost 100,000 children living in 35 low- and middle-income countries between 2005 and 2015. The data were collected as part of UNICEF’s Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey program, Demographic and Health Surveys, and global data from the Nutrition Impact Model Study.