Epidemiology, Growth Alterations in Children Under 10 Years

For the year 2005 the projected population of the country is 46,039,144, of which 20.72% corresponds to children under 9 years (5). For 2004, the infant mortality rate was 22.7 (6). Child malnutrition represents an important percentage with an annual prevalence of 6.7% in the range of moderate to severe, and it has been described that a good number of children have iron deficiency anemia (7). In addition to this it is reported that only 26% of infants under 6 months receive exclusive breastfeeding (8).

The incidence of definitive disability in children is 8%, with the most frequent sensory, physical and cognitive deficits. 12.5% ​​of the disabled are under 5 years of age and their main causes are perinatal, congenital or infectious (9). For the integral development of the child, the early detection of sensory alterations is important, including childhood hearing loss in which 80% of cases occur at the time of birth, highlighting the importance of early diagnosis (10).


5.1 General objective

Provide guidelines for comprehensive quality care for healthy children under 10 years of age throughout the national territory, by benefit plan administrators and health service providers.

5.2 Specific objectives

  • Promote the health, growth and harmonious development of all children
    • Promote healthy conditions and lifestyles, promoting protective factors and controlling risk factors
    • Promote good treatment, emotional ties and humanized parenting practices, caregivers, adults and children
    • Evaluate health conditions, risks to it and the growth and development process through periodic monitoring of the vital process
    • Promote healthy eating, with appropriate nutritional contributions for age, breastfeeding in the early years, complementary balanced and supplemented with micronutrients
    • Prevent the most frequent diseases and accidents, promoting specific protection measures such as vaccination and those recommended in the IMCI strategy.
    • Promote oral, visual and auditory health components.
    • Promote community participation and articulation with the education sector as strategies. to promote the integral health of children.

Conceptual aspects

The goals of child development: self-esteem, autonomy, creativity, solidarity, happiness, health and resilience, can be achieved through an adequate process of growth and development within the child’s life cycle and are the maximum expression of the individual potential that is reconstructed permanently supported by humanized upbringing (C3) (11). Growth: it starts from the moment of conception and extends through pregnancy, childhood, childhood and adolescence. It consists of a progressive increase in body mass given both by the increase in the number of cells and their size. It is an inseparable process of development and therefore both are affected by genetic and environmental factors. It is measured by means of anthropometric variables: weight, height, head circumference.

Development: it is a dynamic process that indicates change, differentiation, development and gradual transformation towards higher and more complex levels of organization, in aspects such as biological, psychological, cognitive, nutritional, ethical, sexual, ecological, cultural and social. It is influenced by genetic, cultural and environmental factors (12).

The current conception of health is linked to the concept of well-being and it has been considered that the best strategy to acquire that well-being is the promotion of health. The Ottawa letter states that:

Health promotion consists in providing the people with the necessary means to improve their health and exercise better control over it. To achieve an adequate state of physical, mental and social well-being, an individual or group must be able to identify and realize their aspirations, to satisfy their needs and to change or adapt to the environment. Health is perceived, not as the objective, but as the source of wealth in everyday life; It is therefore a positive concept that accentuates social and personal resources as well as physical attitudes (13-14).

It is also necessary to implement measures for health maintenance with screening, counseling, immumoprophylaxis and chemoprophylaxis activities that ensure the possibility of early detection of health disorders, growth and development, facilitate diagnosis and treatment, reduce the duration of the disease, avoid sequelae, reduce disability and prevent death.

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