In LICs, as child survival improves, half of child deaths are in the neonatal period and, as intensive newborn care is scaled up and more children survive, multiple causes of brain injury will be more common among survivors. Disability weights underlying the YLDs in the study are invariant across geographical locations. However, children’s development and quality of life are affected not only by their disability, but also by family care, home resources, and community opportunities. Children with disabilities in HICs benefit from access to high quality health care and educational services, with fewer opportunities in LMICs
This pattern of disease burden exemplifies the ethical rationale of the disability-inclusive framework of the SDGs that seeks to promote and ensure safety nets for the survivors of acute childhood illnesses in LMICs to set them on the trajectory of optimal early childhood development.
The global burden of developmental disabilities has not significantly improved since 1990, suggesting inadequate global attention on the developmental potential of children who survived childhood as a result of child survival programmes, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia. The SDGs provide a framework for policy and action to address the needs of children with or at risk of developmental disabilities, particularly in resource-poor countries.