Child and Adolescent Health and Development: Realizing Neglected Potential

Authors: Donald Bundy, Nilanthi de Silva, Sue Horton, George Patton, Linda Schultz, Dean Jamison

Introduction:

Do current health policies undervalue investment in middle childhood and adolescence? The Millennium Development Goals achieved remarkable success in reducing under-five mortality by focusing on improving maternal health and on interventions to improve the health of infants and young children. Today, the Sustainable Development Goals aim to build on this success by helping ensure that children everywhere thrive and have the opportunity to achieve their developmental potential. Because we now know that human development has critical phases, not only in the early years but throughout the first two decades of life, should health policies be expanded beyond early intervention and do more to improve the health of older children and adolescents?