In this short video, Richard Sass, entrepreneur and founder of the Origins FTD Foundation, discusses his vision for a new and enhanced standard of care for maternal and child health.
Origins FTD, along with over 500 other organizations, have signed a group letter to the President of the United States warning of the dire consequences of repealing the Prevention and Public Health Fund (the Prevention Fund), authorized under the Affordable Care Act.
Prevention Fund investments provide over 12 percent of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) budget. Repealing the Prevention Fund would be disastrous to the CDC budget and programs, leaving a nearly $1 billion budget hole which would be impossible to fill under current discretionary spending caps.
Public health spending is still below pre-recession levels and has remained flat. The CDC’s budget authority has actually decreased by 11.4 percent since FY 2010. The Prevention Fund has helped to make up the difference.
Funding prevention not only saves lives but it saves money. A comprehensive study of evidence-based prevention programs found that every dollar invested yields $5.60 in savings.
Title: Early Life or Early Death: Support For Child Health Lasts a Lifetime
Author: Stephen Bezruchka
Departments of Global Health and Health Services at the School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
ABSTRACT: The first thousand days following conception is a critical period during which a large fraction of adult health is programmed. Societies can structure their support during this period in ways that enhance or damage not only the health and well-being of children, but also the health of the adults they become. Inequality is a major influence on early child health. Nations may focus on trying to effect changes in individual health-related behaviors, but public policies promoting more economic equality are more effective in producing health. A national focus on economic growth may produce overstressed parents who have inadequate time and energy for parenting. How a country chooses to allocate its national budget for health and welfare services exposes its priorities. Some of the nations that put the most federal money per person on the first year of life have some of the best overall health; others that focus spending on the later years may have limited health improvements. Economic policies, however, can be overcome in some cases by social and cultural norms, which can override both supportive and unhelpful measures. The path to health looks at its source determinants and supports early life conditions that promote the well-being of children, which in turn will further their health as adults.
A relatively new science known as DOHaD (Developmental Origins of Health and Disease) provides evidence that positive programming achieved during the gestation period. Proper nutrition, regular exercise, metabolic monitoring, and emotional support during gestation and the first thousand days can result in a healthy baby that is not predisposed to chronic disease such as diabetes and heart disease. The positive programming will also result in improved cognitive function for the baby. Evidence in the field of DOHaD science has demonstrated that stresses experienced in the womb – virtually all of which have roots in the social and physical environment – alter the structures of organs in the fetus, thus changing the expression of regulatory genes throughout one’s lifetime.