The community focus – a systematic approach
Improving child health and development in and through the community sounds deceptively simple. However, experience shows that the process is long and there are no short cuts. It needs careful planning, adequate resources and the cooperation of all partners. In short, there must be a systematic approach, whether this involves the relationship between health worker and individual family, or the development of a national strategy.
Once the decision has been taken to target child health in the community, certain common steps can make the approach work most effectively.
Members of the Interagency Working Group on Community IMCI and their partners are providing technical assistance to countries choosing to improve the health of their children by targeting the community.
Child health and development in the community – a pillar of IMCI
Addressing Under 5 mortality starting at the community level...
Improving child health through the community is at the core of the IMCI strategy – Integrated Management of Childhood Illness. This strategy promotes the prevention of illness as well as the prompt recognition and appropriate treatment of the most common causes of childhood deaths in developing countries: pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria, measles, HIV/AIDS and malnutrition. IMCI has three main areas of focus:
IMCI places the individual child and his or her needs at its centre and emphasizes that key factors in the child’s immediate environment are as important as medical treatment in improving health. More than 80 countries have so far successfully introduced the IMCI strategy into their health systems. Over 40 countries are giving special attention to improving family and community practices as a key way of reaching vulnerable children.
The working group
The Inter-Agency Working Group on C-IMCI (IAWG on C-IMCI) - gathers the global key partners working on Integrated Management on Childhood Illness (IMCI), in particular on its community component.
UNICEF's major partners in the IAWG on C-IMCI are WHO, the World Bank, the United Nations Foundation, the Academy for Educational Development (AED), CORE Group, BASICS II, the Environmental Health Project (EHP), USAID and DFID. Know more about The working group.
Joint publications by the IAWG on C-IMCI
An advocacy piece on the role of community-based interventions in child health.
The "C-IMCI Newsletter" for the Inter-Agency Working Group is a periodic update on C-IMCI activities and other key child health interventions, as well as technical and policy documentation related to this area of work.
The Briefing Package, a training tool for C-IMCI facilitators working at country level, is now available. The tool was developed by the Inter-Agency Working Group on C-IMCI, under the coordination of WHO Africa Regional Office (AFRO).