Early lessons from integrating new interventions to promote and monitor early child development in health services in Kenya and Mozambique
Date: Wednesday February 2, 2022
Time: 09:00 (EST) | 13:00 (GMT) | 16:00 (CAT) | 17:00 (EAT) | 19:30 (IST)
Duration: 90 minutes
Language: English, Portuguese

The goal of this webinar was to disseminate findings from two studies conducted in Kenya and Mozambique, which examined the acceptability and feasibility, facilitators and barriers, as well as initial outcomes of integrating monitoring and counseling on child development into routine health services. The webinar engaged the participants in reflecting about what it takes to promote child development among real-life health system constraints and helped identify further questions that need to be answered to support robust integration of nurturing care in the health sector.

Moderators and speakers

Bernadette Daelmans leads the Child Health and Development unit in the World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland. Since she joined WHO, she has been engaged with a range of issues related to maternal, newborn and child health including infant and young child feeding, integrated management of childhood illness, newborn health and early childhood development. She led the development of the Nurturing Care Framework, and was a member of the Lancet Global Health Commission on High Quality Health Systems in the SDG Era. Her current focus is on primary health care and health and wellbeing of children and adolescents.

Svetlana Karuskina-Drividale is a Senior Regional ECD Specialist at PATH where she has been working for the last eight years to support the integration of early child development promotion into health platforms and key MOH guidelines in Mozambique, Kenya, and Ethiopia. She has led several formative assessments to understand how health services are structured and delivered in real time, and has used the insights to design provider-friendly job aids, training modules and mentoring tools. She is passionate about learning from caregivers and strives to use SBC principles to support them. Svetlana holds a Doctorate in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Joshua Jeong is a developmental scientist and Research Associate in the Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He studies how parents and family environments influence the development of young children, with a focus on the role of men as parents and partners. He has experience in developing and evaluating parenting interventions to promote early childhood development in global contexts. His recent research has been published in multidisciplinary journals, including Pediatrics, BMJ Global Health, and Social Science & Medicine.

Patricia Kitsao-Wekulo is an Associate Research Scientist at the African Population and Health Research Center. As a child development researcher, she is interested in the investigation and improvement of various facets of child outcome such as cognition, motor development, language and psychosocial behavior. Such research has important implications for the development of sustainable and efficacious interventions. Patricia has been involved in research with children for many years and is highly motivated to advance understanding of the health and social determinants of early child development. She also has expertise in carrying out neuropsychological assessments of young children in both rural and urban contexts to measure children’s skills in language and communication, executive functioning, as well as their psychomotor, cognitive, and behavioral development.

Arla Alfandega is the head of child health section and ECD Focal Point at the Department of Maternal and Child Health at the Ministry of Health of Mozambique. Arla holds a Master’s in Public Health with focus on Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, from Eduardo Mondlane University. Arla has worked as head nurse at the pediatric ward in Tete and Nacala hospitals and taught and supervised health providers as part of their pre-service training. In 2019 Arla completed the Science of ECD course offered by the AKU and IHD.

Maniza Ntekim leads the Early Childhood Development East and Southern Africa initiative at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. In her role, she oversees a grantmaking portfolio that seeks to improve caregiver well-being and early childhood development outcomes in Kenya, Mozambique, and Tanzania. Previously, she served as regional advisor for UNICEF’s Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office, overseeing the early childhood development programmes of 21 UNICEF Country Offices.

Dr. Caroline Mwangi is the Head of Division of Neonatal and Child Health, Ministry of Health. She holds a Bachelors degree in Medicine and Surgery and a Masters of Medicine degree in Pediatrics and Child Health, both from the University of Nairobi. She is also an ECD Champion and a fellow in Global Health, Afya Bora Consortium. She has played an important role in the development of new-born, child health and early childhood development policies, strategies and guidelines to aid in reduction of morbidity and mortality in newborns and children. She is a mentor and trains other health care workers on high impact interventions. Her interests are in strengthening health systems and in implementation science and research to improve new-born and child survival.

Related links

Recording of the event
Nurturing care for ECD materials developed by PATH
Kenya – Siaya County case study (2018)
Kenya – Smart Start Siaya campaign