Integrated Management of Neo-natal and Childhood Illness
The Integrated Management of Childhood Illness programme was introduced in Mozambique a decade ago to foster better family care practices for children.
The programme was updated in 2006 to add two components – HIV and AIDS and neonatal care. It is now called the Integrated Management of Neo-natal and Childhood Illness (IMNCI).
With UNICEF support, the programme has been scaled up significantly over the past ten year, from 29 districts in 1998 to 130 districts in 2008 – out of a total of 144 districts.
The IMNCI approach is one of the key pillars of the Accelerated Child Survival and Development strategy in Mozambique. The programme has three main components:
In health facilities, IMNCI promotes an integrated holistic approach to the case management of sick children, looking at the top causes of child mortality in Mozambique – malaria, pneumonia, diarrhoea, malnutrition and measles.
At community level, the programme focuses on preventive and promotive care and has been essentially implemented by non-governmental organisations.
As part of the strategy, the Ministry of Health has also developed a special consultation service for ‘at-risk’ children in health centres. At-risk children include those exposed to or living with HIV, malnourished children, pre-mature and low birth weight babies, twins, orphans or children with other difficulties.
This special consultation plays a key role in following up ‘at risk’ children discharged from therapeutic feeding, children of mothers attending the prevention of mother-to-child transmission services and children living with HIV.
The way forward
The strengthening and expansion of the IMNCI programme is a key strategy of the Ministry of Health to reduce child deaths, with a target of at least 85 per cent of health facilities implementing IMNCI by 2011.
Between 2010 abd 2011, UNICEF will continue to support the Ministry of Health and other partners to scale up the IMNCI programme, including the ‘at-risk’ child consultation service and the community-based component of the programme in two main areas.
Strengthening capacity of care givers, including both families and health staff
Strengthening planning and service delivery capacity at district level