CPD Article

Developmental delay in a resource-constrained environment: Screening, surveillance and diagnostic assessment

Vasantha Govender, Deshini Naidoo, Pragashnie Govender
South African Family Practice | Vol 63, No 1 : Part 2| a5306 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/safp.v63i1.5306 | © 2021 Vasantha Govender, Deshini Naidoo, Pragashnie Govender | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 March 2021 | Published: 26 May 2021

About the author(s)

Vasantha Govender, Department of Paediatric Neurology, KwaZulu-Natal Children’s Hospital, Durban, South Africa; and, Department of Paediatric Neurology, Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital, Durban, South Africa
Deshini Naidoo, Discipline of Occupational Therapy, School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Pragashnie Govender, Discipline of Occupational Therapy, School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


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Abstract

The range and severity of developmental delays vary, and a systematic approach to ensuring early detection for early intervention is essential. The formative years are considered critical for nurturing and maximising developmental potential. In this article, the authors describe a clinical approach to developmental delay within resource-constrained environments of South Africa. The article unpacks the history and examination, developmental screening, surveillance and diagnostic assessment and social determinants of health. For timely interventions to occur, early and accurate assessment is necessary. Medical officers and other health professionals such as nurses, general practitioners and therapists working in low-resourced contexts may use this information in their approach to the assessment of developmental delay.

Keywords

developmental delay; paediatric screening; resource constrained; diagnostic assessment; early identification

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