Journal section "Social development"

Twenty years of children’s health monitoring: organization, results, conclusions

Shabunova A.A.

2 (38), 2015

Shabunova A.A. Twenty years of children’s health monitoring: organization, results, conclusions. Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 2015, no. 2 (38), pp. 116-128. DOI: 10.15838/esc/2015.2.38.7

DOI: 10.15838/esc/2015.2.38.7

Abstract   |   Authors   |   References
Deep understanding of human potential reproduction, presenting it as a continuous cycle and reflecting the continuity of generations, is significant for the formation of health and development of children. Today’s children will determine the future of Russian society. It is they who in 10–15 years will be a major part of the labor and creative population, a demographic base of the country. The research into children’s problems through the prism of socio-economic development helps identify targets of the state many-sided policy. The article presents results of the long-term medical sociological monitoring on the formation of child health carried out by the Institute of Socio-Economic Development of Territories of RAS with the support of the Vologda Oblast Healthcare Department since 1995. The special monitoring study of health dynamics in real time is unique not only for the Vologda Oblast, but for Russia as well. It reveals the transformation of a personality and the dependence of these changes on direct and indirect factors. The work’s feature is that it addresses an extremely important and wide range of issues: whether man was born healthy or not, if he/she is unhealthy, then why and why he/she was born unhealthy; whether his/her health after the birth is improving or deteriorating; if health is changing, what causes the changes. The 15 year observations disclose the dynamics of child health in the conditions of transformation processes taking place in the country. If the official statistics only records certain health trends, the monitoring results allow us to talk about them at a qualitatively new level. They reveal the underlying causes of demographic processes. The conclusion is, on the one hand, obvious and, on the other hand, it can not be neglected: economic stability and orderly development of the social sphere are critical for family well-being and child health. The reverse situation leads to the destruction of the family institution, the decrease in child population and the reduction in its quality characteristics. The second conclusion, according to the study results, is that we identify risk factors for child health empirically. The obtained data are used at the legislative level and are of great interest in the scientific community. On the example of certain families we show how the child’s health is affected by a lifestyle of his/her parents, conditions of education, welfare, medical activity, diet, housing conditions, environmental conditions. Nowadays all of these factors require careful attention of not only authorities, but also the parents. The child’s health monitoring also results in the further development of scientific areas and the formation of new thematic research units, such as the “Monitoring of reproductive health and behavior of the population” and the “Reproductive potential of the region” and later the “Reproduction of the population: trends and reserves”


human potential, monitoring, public policy, children’s health, health factors

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