Health Care for ECD
Children with developmental difficulties are identified too late – What can be done about it?

Developmental difficulties in early childhood are significant contributors to morbidity and disability later in life.  Systems for monitoring child development prevention and early identification of risk factors, and early interventions are weak, fragmented, and poorly organized in countries.  Primary health care is the most inclusive, effective and efficient approach to promoting the physical and mental health of everyone in a community – including of children during early childhood. However, primary health care providers often lack the knowledge and resources to provide care that is evidence-based and in the best interests of the child. Not only does this impede the achievement of the full potential of children, but also constitutes a waste of resources for the health system, as well as society at large. 

As a direct result of a member states’ request at a Regional Consultation on Child Health and Quality of Care, a new WHO Pocket Book of Primary Care for Children and Adolescents in the European Region was developed and launched on 21 March 2022. The Pocket Book provides guidance for conducting regular visits throughout the child’s development for a responsive, safe, and secure environment that ensures good health, adequate nutrition, and opportunities for early learning. It also provides up-to-date guidance for the management of common and severe conditions which primary health care providers encounter when caring for children and adolescents. 

It is intended for use by doctors, nurses and health professionals who are responsible for the health promotion, and prevention and management of children and adolescents at the primary health care level in the WHO European Region. 

Russian and Ukrainian language version will be published shortly. Translation to Armenian, Italian, Greek, and Tajik as well as the development of a mobile application are underway. Translations to additional languages are being planned.

This webinar will present the Pocket Book, its content, with a special focus on its use to promote early child development and bring professionals from several countries to share their experience at the country level. 

Watch the webinar recording here.