International conference on child health and development kicks off

LALITPUR: A two-day international conference on child health and development organised under the aegis of Action Against Hunger has commenced in the Valley on Thursday.

Director General of the Department of Child Health at the Ministry of Health, Rajendra Lal Panta inaugurated the conference and said the conference is very significant as it will deliberate on pertinent issues of child and maternal health, including the mental health.

Karine Le Roch, Programme Officer for Research on Mental Health and Care Practices at the Action Against Hunger's main office in Paris, said poverty has posed a challenge in improving child health and this could be addressed through nutrition programmes initiated by the government.

According to Roch, attention should be given to  diet and health care provided to children including massaging, motivation and entertainment and recreational activities by providing toys etc.

Country Director of Fight Against Hunger, Ojawi Acharya said the organisation has been carrying out research studies to address problems seen in maternal and child health and mental health, adding that such studies have been conducted in Mugu and Saptari districts while preparations were on to carry out research in Nawalparasi district.

The conference will discuss 15 different working papers to be presented by experts on child development and mental health from within the country and abroad.

Research scholars on child health and development from Nepal, India, America, Bangladesh, Britain, South Africa among other countries are participating in the conference.