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.

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.