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Ugandan journalists tipped on early childhood development

By Jacky Achan

Added 27th March 2019 07:48 AM

Dr.Grant, added that the first 1000 days of a child is the best time to offer love and care.

Ugandan journalists tipped on early childhood development

Scribes during the ECD workshop training at Today Hotel in Mukono district. (Photo by Francis Emorut )

Dr.Grant, added that the first 1000 days of a child is the best time to offer love and care.

DEVELOPMENT

The age between 0-8 is decisive in a child's development but this is a fact most people are unaware of, Dr. Isha Grant programme officer in charge of the health sector at the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development says.

She says by four months while the child is in the womb, a child's hearing and visual ability will have developed "a child can be able to listen to what is being said and store the word used," she explains.

Therefore how the mother communicates, even the father, the people around them and the environment impacts on the child right from the womb, Dr Grant said.

She explained that if the words used and environment are violent and negative, it will impact the child negatively while positive and loving words and environment will have a good effect on a child developing to their adulthood.

Dr. Grant was speaking to a group of journalists, district communication officers and district local government officials in Kampala at the start of a two days training on integrated early childhood development (ECD) service delivery.

 A cross section of scribes during the ECD workshop training at Ridar Hotel in Mukono district. (Photo by Francis Emorut)

The key components of ECD discussed included among others food, security and nutrition, child protection and primary health care.

The commissioner in charge of youth and child affairs at the Ministry of Gender said to achieve a holistic growth of a child all these components must work together.

But he also encouraged men to get involved in the nurturing of their child and desist from competing with their child.

"Men should reform and not compete with their children for breast milk. When you are drinking your beer you do not compete for it with your child. Also do not sulk over sagging breasts so women do not fear to breast feed," he said. Dr. Grant says breast milk is best for a child's development.

The child expert with Aga Khan Foundation, Edris Matovu pointed out that if greater attention is paid to ECD it will contribute to the reduction of school drop outs and increases high rate of completion.

Dr.Grant, added that the first 1000 days of a child is the best time to offer love and care.

She said at the age of 0-8 a child's brain grows in a tremendous speed and the parents and care takers should capitalise on it.

However she said parents should not force their children to become what they want but allow them to be the ones to determine their career.

"Let the child be what he or she wants," Dr. Grant stated.

Participants were taken through key family care practices which include birth spacing, keeping baby warm, sleeping under treated mosquito net, hand washing and communicating with a child among others.

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