April 25, 2013

Visiting Brazil to Discuss Early Childhood Development

Shirin Ahmed,
Project Coordinator, GHLI

Some of the GHLI team recently made a trip to Brazil to finalize delegates who will attend our GHLI Conference in June. The trip served as a great opportunity to strengthen relationships with colleagues in Brazil, whose work involves research and programs related to Early Childhood Development (ECD).

During our trip, GHLI met with psychiatrists at the University of Sao Paulo and Universidade Federal de São Paulo, as well as policymakers and NGO representatives who are actively developing strategies to improve early childhood experiences and services in Brazil. Our team gained a better understanding of existing policies related to ECD in Brazil and began to lay the foundation for future collaborations in research and programming between Yale University and Brazil. A visit to a local community offered insight to the country’s primary care system in practice and also helped us understand operations of the local health system and the need to address mental health in these communities. 

In June, our Brazilian colleagues will participate in the GHLI Conference on Yale’s campus and will work with other attending country delegates to develop interventions to improve the mental and physical health of children in the city of Sao Paulo. Brazilian faculty are also exploring a collaboration between Brazil and the ACEV Foundation, a non-profit that has implemented successful parent training programs in Turkey, with potential applications in Brazil.  

One major challenge is the gap between academic research and the implementation of these findings through the public health system. Strategies that the Brazilian delegation will tackle at the GHLI Conference will focus on bridging this gap and integrating research-based, proven approaches to ECD programming into the delivery of public health care in Sao Paulo. We look forward to assisting our colleagues in Brazil with this important phase in improving their health care system.

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