Child Health Improvement Scheme

Child Health Improvement SchemeChild Health Improvement Scheme

A pilot scheme on improving child health which includes integrated services like child abuse prevention, education for parents and improving children’s development and growth through better  nutrition, has been launched in four cities in the country, said Hamed Barakati, head of the Child Health Office at the Health Ministry.  

Stating that the health package comprises services for improvement of children’s healthy development in physical, psychological, cognitive and social aspects, he said “promotion of breastfeeding and preventing accidents due to parental negligence, as well as prevention of child abuse are on the plan agenda, IRNA reported.

Barakati said the program also includes measures to improve children’s visual and auditory health, as well as plans to minimize the negative effects of air pollution on children’s health.”

After the plan implementation parents can refer to health centers and universities of medical sciences across the country to benefit from free parenting education programs.

Barakati said that the program which has been developed based on the World Health Organization’s Child Protection Framework (2014), will be implemented across the country after completion of its pilot implementation in four cities (he didn’t mention the names of the cities).

Pilot phase of the national program will be completed in the spring of next year (Iranian year ends March 19) and the main phase will start from the beginning of the next summer, he said.

Annually, 1.5 million babies are born in Iran.

He said 60% of under-five child deaths occur during their first one year of life, and two problems of congenital diseases and accidents are the two leading causes of Iranian children’s deaths.

Health Ministry figures indicate that 18% of the children lose their lives due to congenital diseases, 18% due to accidents, 13.5% as a result of respiratory diseases, and 8.4% due to infectious diseases.

Also two issues of central nervous system problems, and poor nutrition/ metabolic diseases are each accounted for 5.8% of all deaths in children.