IMCI Intervention Manual
The primary reason for developing interventions to improve community medicines management for childhood
illnesses is to ensure that correct treatment is available and that families are able to seek, obtain, and
appropriately use medicines for common childhood illnesses such as malaria, pneumonia, coughs and colds, or
diarrhea. In many countries, as recommended by the WHO, these common child health problems are addressed
using an approach known as Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI). However, in addition to comprehensive
IMCI training programs, many other public and private health programs have developed interventions intended
to improve access to pediatric medicines by caregivers or prescribing and dispensing of these medicines by
health providers. These approaches are often developed in a haphazard way and do not always take advantage of
what is known about how to increase the effectiveness of behavioral interventions.
With support from the USAID Rational Pharmaceutical Management Plus Project, Dr. Dennis Ross-Degnan and
colleagues at DACP have developed a manual entitled Improving Community Use of Medicines in the Management of
Child Illness: A Guide to Developing Interventions. This guide is designed to help key decision makers –
national and district level program managers, policy makers in health delivery systems, and staff of
non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working on child survival or pharmaceutical management issues – plan
and implement effective interventions to improve the availability and appropriate use of medicines for child
illness at the community level. The manual introduces, as part of the IMCI process, a logical approach to
identifying and addressing child health problems related to the availability and use of medicines. The approach
is similar to the way a thoughtful clinician would diagnose and treat a sick patient.
Topics covered include identifying problems in managing childhood illness, exploring and analyzing those
problems, examining intervention options to address the problems throughout the health care system, and planning
and designing interventions to address specific childhood illness problems. The manual is currently under final
review by key international experts at WHO and USAID, and will be available on the CCPP website when completed.