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Child Development Essay

3447 words - 14 pages

Introduction
In developing countries, a large number of children are exposed to various risk factors in their early childhood. These include malnutrition, poor health and reduced levels of home stimulation. The risk factors including poverty, low levels of maternal education, child malnutrition, teenage parenting, increased levels of maternal stress and depression, low weights during birth, unsafe neighborhoods, and reduced stimulation at home, and those children that are exposed to a variety of risk factors are at a higher risk of poor development. For instance, a study carried out by Save the Children .(2003), estimates that more than 200 million children below the age of five in developing countries are not able to reach to their potential development because of poor health, nutrition and the general poverty levels in these countries. At the same time, the children perform poorly in school and their chances of having good economic opportunities in their later life are limited. This results in poverty generation, poor health and low development (Brooks-Gunn et al 2003).
Over the past few decades the number of children dying in developing countries has reduced significantly. Mortality rates has have decline and the general child health and parenting improved. There have been numerous programs introduced in these countries to enhance the growth and protection of children from the time they are born to a certain age say five years.
However, the benefits have not been evenly distributed, such that mortality in childhood remains higher in poorer countries and the gap between the poor and the rich continues to grow. Numerous poorer countries and some regions within countries that are poorer than the rest have been experiencing an increase in the levels of childhood mortality (Conyers et al 2003).
There are two types of programs that have contributed to the decreased child mortality, i.e. the general programs of basic health care and short term initiative programs that are disease-specific. These two types of programs can help significantly in the strengthening of the health systems and enabling communities and households improve their health and sanitation, thus betterment in their standards of living. New strategies are needed in order to continue impacting positively on the health of children and the population of developing countries in general. The intervention programs are usually affected by economic, political and social factors that sometimes cause more harm to the childhood and child care health instead of being beneficial. This means that attention should be paid to these interventions that affect issues concerning health not only during childhood but also in later stages of life (Brooks-Gunn et al 2003).
This therefore means that the intervention programs can either be harmful or beneficial depending on these factors affecting them or the program appropriateness to the child’s characteristics, the surrounding environment and...

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