To prevent child stunting invest on ‘psychosocial stimulation’

Dhaka,  Tue,  26 September 2017
Published : 05 Apr 2016, 12:44:09 | Updated : 05 Apr 2016, 13:52:52
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To prevent child stunting invest on ‘psychosocial stimulation’

New research suggests
To prevent child stunting invest on ‘psychosocial stimulation’
FE Online Report

In a bid to overcome the problem of children’s stunting, the condition of being shorter than normal for one’s age, a new research have suggested more investment on ‘psychosocial stimulation’ in Bangladesh.

Psychosocial stimulation is a process where education social workers led play sessions to develop cognitive, language, and psychosocial skills of children. They also teach the mothers of the children how to do the same stimulating activities with their children.

Copenhagen Consensus Center, a US non-profit think-tank, in its new research comes up with this suggestion, says a press statement today.

The research is a part of the Copenhagen Consensus project Bangladesh Priorities aims to identify the best policies for Bangladesh: the choices that will do the most good for each taka spent.

The new academic research highlights the smartest ways to help children thrive for a lifetime through early childhood education opportunities.

According to the research report, though 99 per cent of Bangladesh’s girls and 97 per cent of boys are enrolled in primary school, concerns remain over some areas of schooling, in particular stunting.

“It matters, because it holds back learning and development, and six million Bangladeshi children are stunted,” it added. “The effects often last a lifetime: delayed cognitive development, lower productivity, poor health, and increased risk of certain diseases.”

The research conducted by economist Atonu Rabbani of the University of Dhaka suggests several worthwhile strategies that could improve public education in Bangladesh, and one is most promising of all: so-called psychosocial stimulation to help young children overcome stunting.

The research calculated that cost of such a program is one hour per week for a social worker for each child is Tk 12,450 each year.

“An estimated wage increase of nearly 20 per cent is worth more than Tk 1.5 million (Tk15 lakh) for each child over their working career,” it added. “Each taka spent on psychosocial stimulation programs for early education of children would do benefits of Tk 18.”

End//AJK
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