Striving and thriving: Reducing the effects of adversity on early childhood development

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It’s estimated that half of the 500 million children in low- and middle-income countries will face physical or cognitive developmental challenges. That eye-opening number set the tone for the second annual State of Global Health Symposium on Wednesday, April 1 at the Joseph B. Martin Conference Center. The symposium, Striving and Thriving: A New Era in Global Child Health and Development was co-sponsored by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Department of Global Health and Population and the Harvard University Center on the Developing Child. Experts on early childhood development from Harvard and institutions around the world discussed the risk factors and potential interventions that affect a child’s ability to lead a healthy and prosperous life.

Following the panel discussion there was a poster session, where students presented their own research on early childhood development.

Panelists widely acknowledged progress in the area of early childhood development, noting that the global annual number of child deaths declined from 16 million in 1970 to less than 6 million in 2015. Now there is a growing push to improve the lives of children beyond survival.