HealthProm is an international NGO which helps children have the best possible start in life. We raise awareness of the vital importance of the early years in child development, and help build support for vulnerable children and their families at this critical time.
In Russia, HealthProm has worked with partners to review a range of evidence-based interventions to promote mother-child attachment, raised awareness of the damage caused to very young children by institutional care, and transformed the delivery of child mental health services in Sverdlovsk oblast.
In the 1990s, HealthProm carried out a wide range of work in Russia, seeking to bring UK experience and expertise to partners within the health sector. These included support for better outcomes on infection control, safe motherhood, breast cancer and STD treatment.
In 1997, building on five years work on child mental health in St Petersburg, HealthProm initiated a major project in Sverdlovsk Oblast on child mental health, supported by a DfID grant for £800,000. This was followed by a short-term project on post-natal depression, in partnership with Microdisc and the Oblast Medical College. Two books were written on child mental health by Professor Rory Nicol.
HealthProm in Russia 2003-2008
In 2003-2005, HealthProm partnered with the Early Intervention Institute and EveryChild on the Children Need Families project, which produced a Russian language version of the Robertsons’ film ‘John’, the film ‘The Road Home’, shot in Sverdlovsk region, and a book on attachment for families and professionals. These were then disseminated by EveryChild through a subsequent EC funded project.
In 2005-2007, HealthProm worked with partners in Altai to raise awareness of the needs of children with disabilities to live in families, developed practice with families and supported the setting up of a day centre. This model underpinned work which then developed in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
In 2006-2008, the Young Child Attachment Project, also funded by the EC, developed practice to support early relationships between vulnerable mothers and their 0-3-year old children. This saw the training and accreditation of two Russian professional trainers in running the Mellow Parenting intervention, a further film to skill professionals, and a book for professionals, ‘Early Relationships and Child Development’. A small follow-up project produced a book on similar lines targeted at parents, ‘Early Relationships, or What do Babies Want?’ published by a St Petersburg publisher, and articles in four different popular magazines.
HealthProm’s future focus in Russia
HealthProm is interested in discussing further support for practitioners in Russia, particularly to develop further evidence-based interventions that promote mother-child attachment, and the early detection of postnatal depression.
Postnatal depression is increasingly understood to be a global public health problem, which can have a serious long-term effect on child development. In Russia, we hypothesise, it may be an unrecognised contributory factor in the abandonment of newborn babies to the state.
HealthProm cannot provide the funds for this important work, but is interested in working with partner organisations in Russia to secure the necessary funding for initiatives in this area. If you would like to discuss developing a partnership to work jointly in this area, please get in touch:
Tel: +44 20 72841620
Email: getintouch @ healthprom.org