The INDIGO Study
Exploring the diagnostic utility of items on developmental tools in Uganda, Malawi and Pakistan for screening for neurodevelopmental disorders.
We know that the earlier we identify children with NDDs and initiate appropriate intervention strategies, the greater opportunity there is to maximise their developmental potential and hence lessen the long-term burden of mental health issues on families and society as a whole.
The development of consistent and reliable identification of NDDs in LMICs, will allow scientists to investigate the underlying aetiologies of these disorders. This is a critical step in developing effective strategies for prevention and intervention.
Although some tools have been created specifically for LMIC settings (including the Ten Question Questionnaire (TQQ), Malawi Development Assessment Tool (MDAT), the Guide for Monitoring Child Development (GMCD) and the Rapid Neurodevelopmental Assessment Tool (RNDA), none have all elements needed in order to scale it up for use in epidemiological and aetiological studies in the future and many do not specifically look at vision and hearing.
The creation of such a tool is vital if we want to move towards providing better evidence on aetiology and epidemiology of mental health disorders in young children and hence optimising a targeted appropriate prevention and intervention strategies.