Project Lead(s): Leonid Lecca
In Lima, Peru, researchers will demonstrate a standardized community-based screening and treatment program delivered by community health workers to 60 children (6 to 24 months old) at risk of neurodevelopmental delay (NDD).
The community health workers will identify and treat at-risk children and assist their caregivers, addressing multi-level problems. The intervention includes: (1) coaching parents on how to stimulate their child’s to promote development, and (2) providing parents with social support and encouragement.
The kids and their primary caregivers will be randomly assigned to one of three interventions: (1) monthly nutritional support alone; (2)nutritional support plus 3 months of the intervention in the home; or (3)nutritional support plus 3 months of the intervention in group settings.
Among the impacts to be measured and evaluated: changes in child development and parenting; the child, caregiver, and household characteristics that predict who benefits most; how intervention should be delivered for maximum effect (one-on-one or group settings).
Says project leader Leonid Lecca, “The vicious cycle of developmental delay and limited socioeconomic opportunity (manifested in poor academic performance and child labor) have major impact at the societal level, in terms of economic productivity and social inequality”.
Project collaborators include the Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital, the Brigham and Women's Hospital, and the University of California San Francisco Medical School, as well as stakeholders in Rwanda and Haiti who will help explore how to adapt this model for global dissemination.