Investment in child and adolescent health and development
Bundy, D. A. P., de Silva, N., Horton, S., Patton, G. C., Schultz, L., Jamison, D. T., ... Merseth, K. A. (2017). Investment in child and adolescent health and development: key messages from "Disease Control Priorities, 3rd Edition". The Lancet. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(17)32417-0
The realisation of human potential for development requires age-specific investment throughout the 8000 days of childhood and adolescence. Focus on the first 1000 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.