New crisis for child and adolescent health: Experts warn

Economic inequality or poverty is a major determinant of health, affecting almost every aspect of life. Children and young people facing poverty early in life are at least twice as likely to experience adverse health outcomes as children and adolescents at the top of the wealth level. yes. In addition, children and adolescents in low-income families are more likely to be born prematurely and with low birth weight than those in higher-income families. Their health problems persisted into adolescence and adulthood, even as they improved their financial situation later in life.

Study authors on optimizing child and adolescent health and development urge global leaders and policymakers to replace current approaches to child health Children and young people, who are often dispersed by specific age groups or health conditions, to provide comprehensive care including nutrition, Preventive medical support, education, economic and communities in age groups from infancy to age 20. This is necessary because young people have unique needs compared to adults, but their needs are not yet fully met.

New collection of documents highlighting how the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted health and education services as well as economies and social systems, driving recent progress towards the Development Goals The sustainability of the United Nations is in jeopardy.

The probability of dying in the first 5 years of life is an indicator commonly used to assess human capital and progress in a country. However, this index only provides a narrow view of children’s health and development.

In 2019, the global death rate for all ages fell by a quarter compared to 1990. In 2019, there were 8.6 million deaths globally. Of these deaths, 1.9 million (23%) were stillbirths and 2.4 million (28%) occurred in the first month postpartum. Among other causes of death, 2.75 million children died between the ages of one month and five years; The greatest numbers were in children aged one to four years (1.3 million) and five to nine years old (0.86 million). In addition, 506,000 (6%) deaths were among children aged 5 to 9 years; 368,000 (4%) deaths occurred between the ages of 10 and 14; and 595,000 (1%) deaths among young people aged 15 to 19 years.

Powerful health and social systems come to the rescue

Pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, and infant interventions that address the survival and nutrition of children and adolescents have a strong impact on weight, height, and development, and they serve as key indicators of future health, nutrition, education and intelligence – if they are delivered at a high quality level.

However, these interventions must be scaled up and continued throughout childhood and adolescence through delivery platforms in schools and communities, where children and families have consistent access to vaccines to address areas of child health that are often neglected.

Based on this analysis, it has been shown that in order to maximize children’s health, strong health systems need to cooperate with effective social systems such as schools, communities, families and institutions. Digital platform that provides promotion, prevention and cure services related to the child’s life stage.

It also points to the growing challenges older children and adolescents face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including a lack of social support and mental health effects such as feelings of exclusion. Isolation, loneliness and anxiety.

Fix the long-term effects

Analysis of data from 95 country surveys in low- and middle-income countries confirms that there are large economic inequalities both between and within countries, closely linked between early life poverty and the health, nutrition and cognitive development of children and adolescents.

Thus, children at the bottom end of the rich-poor poverty line are at least twice as likely to suffer from poverty-related adverse health outcomes early in life, such as infant mortality, stunting, and retardation. development, teenage motherhood and inadequate primary schooling compared to children at the top of the wealth spectrum. Furthermore, the degree of inequality in child mortality, nutrition and development is strongly linked with the degree of economic inequality.

Differences were observed in the intelligence quotient tested between children and adolescents at the top of the wealth scale compared with children at the bottom of the scale. This disparity was also observed in children under 5 years of age, suggesting that although overall differences in school access may play a role in cognitive scores, environmental factors associated with Poverty in childhood has a major impact that begins during pregnancy and lasts throughout childhood. and adolescence.

Migration, displacement and school disruption are emerging as significant challenges for children and young people. Children whose family members are critically ill have an increased risk of malnutrition, while absenteeism has been linked to depression, behavioral problems and poor educational outcomes. Additionally, prolonged fear of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic may lead to higher stress levels that are associated with poorer mental health outcomes in children and adolescents.

The study concluded that all countries need to prioritize child and adolescent health, and tailor health and multidisciplinary programs to meet their needs and risk factors. This is the time for governments, donors and organizations to work together not only to end the pandemic, but also to protect future pandemics.

Source: Medindia

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