The innovation aims to develop and evaluate a set of child development and maternal care tools and materials for the private clinics to promote urban children’s brain development in the first year of their life. The delivery of child development care (including maternal mental health) through private clinics has never been tested before in Pakistan. Though there is an existing countrywide network of private clinics and small hospitals, they are unregulated. These clinics provide more than two-thirds of primary health care in urban regions.
The three main objectives are:
- To develop an integrated early child development care package with three key components: child development, nutrition counseling, and maternal mental health
- To arrange, implement, and monitor the care package at 11 selected private clinics
- To evaluate the intervention’s effectiveness and feasibility through a randomized controlled trial and associated costing and qualitative studies
Content of the Project
The innovation will enable the local district health office to support selected private clinics/ hospitals to offer the child development care package to mothers and young children living in poor urban localities. The respective district health offices will be engaged primarily in:
- Mapping and selecting the private clinics on predefined mapping guidelines(in progress)
- Training clinical staff
- Enabling community advocates
- Monitoring ECD care delivery at selected private clinics
An average of five community advocates will be enabled in the catchment population of each private clinic to generate awareness about the services of this program to mobilize mothers and their families.
At each selected clinic, the ECD care will be integrated into the routine primary health care package. The child-mother pair enrolled for the intervention will visit the clinic on quarterly basis. Since the clinics have already a set pricing and payment modality, the intervention will not intervene on the pricing and/or payment arrangements between the clinic and the respective client.
Upon the visit, each registered mother will be counseled, with the help of especially designed pictorial tools incorporating child brain development, child nutrition, and mother mental health. This counseling will be supplemented by providing mothers a brochure to take home as a reference. In case of depression, medicine will also be prescribed, if needed, as per agreed guidelines.