National Childhood Development Program

National Childhood Development ProgramNational Childhood Development Program

The National High Council of Health and Food Security will soon review and ratify the document on the National Comprehensive Childhood Development Program, said head of the Children’s Health Office at the Health Ministry.

“The document, which was three years in the making (2010-2013), has now been finalized and will be presented to the council in the presence of the president and his Cabinet within a few months. It should come into effect by the end of the current Iranian year in March 2017,” said Hamed Barakati.

The CCDP mainly focuses on preconception health, neonatal care as well as a child’s comprehensive development till the age eight, Borna News Agency reported.

“This is because a human brain sees its maximum growth (60%) in the first year of life, 80% by three years of age, and by over 90% by the time we’re eight years old,” Barakati said.

The CCDP encompasses a set of interventions that aim to identify and modify biomedical, behavioral and social risks to a woman’s health or pregnancy outcome through prevention and management. Certain measures should be taken before conception or early in pregnancy to maximize health outcomes.

The other major targets include eliminating the high rate of infant mortality (in certain regions) and more specifically, among children under five. Malnutrition in this age group will be addressed.

“Maternity leave for working women and providing a standard environment for safe and healthy delivery are among the prerequisites under the plan, already achieved in the 2014 Health Reform Plan,” he said.

Stressing that the document includes all physical, social, cultural, and psychological aspects of a child’s life, Barakati said it will be directed to the ministries of health, education, labor, as well as municipalities and the State Welfare Organization among others for implementation.

 “Children under eight have one single job, and that is to play and develop into healthy human beings,” both physically and mentally, he said.

The objectives of CCDP worldwide is to intervene as early as possible in children’s lives and to involve the entire family, ensure the delivery of comprehensive social services to address the intellectual, social-emotional, and physical needs of infants and young children; ensure services to enhance parents’ ability to contribute to the overall development of their children and provide continuous services until children enter kindergarten or elementary first grade level (7-8 years old).