Investment in Child and Adolescent Health and Development: Key Messages from Disease Control Priorities, 3rd Edition

Authors: Donald Bundy, Nilanthi de Silva, Susan Horton, George Patton, Linda Schultz, Dean Jamison, Disease Control Priorities 3 Child and Adolescent Health and Development Authors Group

The realisation of human potential for development requires age-specific investment throughout the 8,000 days of childhood and adolescence. Focus on the first 1,000 days is an essential but insufficient investment. Intervention is also required in three later phases: the middle childhood growth and consolidation phase (5–9 years), when infection and malnutrition constrain growth, and mortality is higher than previously recognised; the adolescent growth spurt (10–14 years), when substantial changes place commensurate demands on good diet and health; and the adolescent phase of growth and consolidation (15–19 years), when new responses are needed to support brain maturation, intense social engagement, and emotional control. Two cost-efficient packages, one delivered through schools and one focusing on later adolescence, would provide phase-specific support across the life cycle, securing the gains of investment in the first 1000 days, enabling substantial catch-up from early growth failure, and leveraging improved learning from concomitant education investments.

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Bundy, D.A.P, N. de Silva, S. Horton, G.C. Patton, L. Schultz, and others. 2017. "Investment in Child and Adolescent Health and Development: Key Messages from Disease Control Priorities, 3rd Edition." The Lancet. Published online 16 November 2017.