Nurturing Care is spreading through Northern Africa. From October 29 through November 2, 23 participants from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Sudan, Syria and Tunesia met in warm and hospitable Tunis for a capacity building course on Care for Child Development within the context of the Nurturing Care Framework.

Organized by WHO EMRO and UNICEF, the professionals came from ministries of health, academia, NGO partners, WHO and UNICEF and represented different disciplines working with families and young children, including children on the move and in crisis situations. With three international facilitators, the participants applied the knowledge they gained during the course in the counselling of caregivers of young children in a major pediatric hospital of Tunis. They were also able to experience first-hand that the approach is equally effective in supporting the caregiver-child relationship and learning of children that are cognitively delayed or affected by other neurodevelopmental disabilities. While practicing their counselling skills, providers in the pediatric hospital and child development center took immediate note of what the participants were doing with their patients, and several started to apply what they were observing.

The course participants are now planning to advocate for Care for Child Development implementation in their countries with ministries and hospitals and introduce the concepts to colleagues in clinical and academic settings and other available platforms. Follow-up with training of trainer support and implementation is under planning by WHO and UNICEF for the coming months to assist countries in the introduction of Care for Child Development.