Integrated Management of Childhood Illness

Partnership Objective

Develop an improved delivery strategy for child survival interventions.

IMCI aims to reduce morbidity and mortality due to the major killer diseases for children under five. IMCI aims to reduce morbidity and mortality due to the major killer diseases for children under five. Copyright GlaxoSmithKline

What are the health needs and challenges?

GlaxoSmithKline has been involved with Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI), a strategy developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF since 1996 when it initiated an unique partnership with the South African Ministry of Health. Since then, GSK has entered into public-private partnership agreements with WHO, UNICEF, National Ministries of Health and/or NGOs for the implementation of the IMCI strategy or components thereof in Ethiopia, Namibia, Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya.

IMCI aims to reduce morbidity and mortality due to the major killer diseases for children under five: malaria, diarrhea, malnutrition, measles, pneumonia, HIV/AIDS and neonatal causes. The strategy includes three main components: 1) improving the case management skills of health workers; 2) strengthening the health system; and 3) improving key household and community practices that have the greatest impact on child survival.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

The health status of Ethiopians (population approximately 65 million) is among the lowest in the world with health service coverage at 50.4%. The Ministry of Health of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia endorsed IMCI as the main strategy to reduce the unacceptably high under five mortality - 140 per 1000 live births (FMOH, 2002/2003 Dabat and Wukro Districts were selected from Amhara and Tigray regions respectively for piloting c-IMCI implementation in the country. Based on the encouraging results from the two pilot districts in Amhara and Tigray regions, further expansion has taken place to Benishangul-Gumuz and Oromiya regions.

WHO, Ghana Health Service and GSK signed a tri-partite agreement to improve the care and management of children less than five years of age at community levels (thereby improving under-five morbidity and mortality in the long term) in 12 districts. Specific objectives: to improve the knowledge and practices of families and communities; to provide caregivers of infants and young children with knowledge on appropriate feeding of their infants and children and to improve the feeding practices and growth of infants and children in selected communities; and to provide community members with health information and education to improve the care of infants and children. Benefits of the programme include improved relationship between volunteers and community members, provision of structures for growth promotion sessions beyond the financial capacities of communities and “health care to the door step of the people”. Implementation of the project started in January 2005.

Under the Government Republic of Namibia-UNICEF Young Children Health Care and Development Program, GlaxoSmithKline has been supporting the implementation of all 3 components of IMCI (mainly c-IMCI) in six districts (Windhoek, Omaruru, Mariental, Opuwo, Katima Mulilo and Engela) – with infant and under-five mortality rates of 52 and 71 per 1000 live births respectively.

Nigeria has a population of approximately 140 million – the largest in sub-Saharan Africa – with 43.4% under the age of 14 years. The under-5 mortality rate is 184 per 1000 live births.

In May 2003 GSK signed a tripartite partnership agreement with the Federal Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization to support efforts to improve child health in Nigeria through the implementation of c-IMCI in the Karu Local Government Area in the middle belt of Nigeria – estimated population of 300,000.

GSK has been involved, both financially and through the sharing of expertise, with the implementation of all three components of IMCI in eight of the nine provinces between 1996 and 2001. In partnership with World Vision, UNICEF and the provincial department of Health, GSK also supported the development of a specific model for the implementation of the Community Component of IMCI in the Bergville area of KwaZulu-Natal – a model which has since then been utilized by many other countries within SSA for the implementation of c-IMCI.

Summary of impact through December 2013 and forward looking information

To date, 1,626 health professionals and 9,087 community resource persons have been trained in key household and community practices and more than 450,000 households have already been reached by them. To date 10,000 children have been registered in the communities for nutrition and growth promotion activities, 155 health workers and 355 volunteers trained respectively in the districts since the implementation of the partnership project.

Partnership information

Company(ies) GlaxoSmithKline

Partner(s) Ethiopian Ministry of Health, Ghana Ministry of Health, Kenya Ministry of Health, Namibia Ministry of Health, Nigerian Ministry of Health, South Africa Ministry of Health, Sustainable Healthcare Foundation, UNICEF, World Health Organization (WHO)

Type of Partner(s) Government, IGOs, NGOs

Therapeutic Focus Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, Women and Children's Health

Disease(s) Children's Health, Malaria, Malnutrition, Measles, Pneumonia, Rotavirus

Program Type(s) Health System Infrastructure - Training, Prevention Programs - Awareness & Outreach

Targeted Population(s) Children, Marginalised / Indigenous People, Men, Mothers, People with low income

Region(s) Sub-Saharan Africa

Number of Countries 6

Country(ies) Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa

Start Date 1996

More information WHO - IMCI

Completed date 2012