Technical and policy documents


Global Measles Mortality Reduction and Regional Elimination: Strategic Plan 2001–2005
This Strategic Plan is intended to provide a framework for guiding and coordinating measles mortality reduction and regional elimination activities at the country, regional and global levels. It updates the previous World Health Organization document on measles control in the 1990s. The Strategic Plan seeks to reduce measles mortality worldwide. More...

Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus Elimination by 2005
These guidelines describe the strategies for achieving elimination of maternal and neonatal tetanus by the year 2005 and, once elimination is achieved, for maintaining it. They are intended for public health managers at the national and district levels in countries that have not yet reached the goal and for the organizations that provide them with technical assistance. They will also be useful for development partners that are planning financial or other support. More...

Consensus statement on use of auto-disable syringes for immunization
This consensus statement signed by the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRCS), and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) addresses the need to generalize the use of auto-disable syringes for immunization by the end of 2003.

The Prescriber
This newsletter promotes rational drug use and correct case management in basic health services. Its main audience is front-line health staff in developing countries, both in the public and private sectors. As this audience lacks access to reliable and easily understood materials on important health and nutrition problems, The Prescriber's emphasis is on conveying information of the highest technical quality in the most clear and practical way possible. More...

For more documentation, please visit our Immunization plus page.

Maternal and Newborn Health

ESARO EmOC Strategy Paper 2003
The Strategy Paper recognizes the indispensable and central role of life-saving emergency obstetric care (EmOC) in the reduction of maternal deaths. Supporting this tight strategic focus are other strategies such as promotion of family planning, strengthening of referral systems, ensuring availability of skilled attendants at birth, provision of antenatal care, and advocacy at all levels of government.

The Safe Motherhood Library
An annotated bibliography of recommended readings. These are categorized under general women's health, health and human rights, maternal mortality, communication for safe motherhood, clinical guidelines and reports, situation analyses, monitoring and evaluation. Also included is a list of UNICEF publications on Safe Motherhood and other women's health issues.

The Reproductive Health Library
An electronic review journal produced once-a-year by the World Health Organization for use by health care professionals. It contains information on management of reproductive health problems, summaries of evidence-based medical and clinical information on reproductive health from the Cochrane Library, and information on current research projects being undertaken by UNFPA, UNDP, WHO, UNDP, and other partners. The journal also lists funding agencies and non-governmental organizations active in the area of reproductive health. More...

The Cochrane Collaboration
The Cochrane Collaboration is an international organization that aims to help professionals make well-informed decisions about healthcare by preparing, maintaining and ensuring the accessibility of systematic reviews of the effects of health care interventions. The Cochrane Library, includes Frequently Asked Questions, Abstracts of Cochrane Reviews as well as full-text reviews. More...

Netting the Evidence
A ScHARR Introduction to Evidence Based Practice on the Internet. Netting the Evidence is intended to facilitate evidence-based healthcare by providing support and access to helpful organisations and useful learning resources, such as an evidence-based virtual library, software and journals. More...

Programming for Safe Motherhood: Guidelines for Maternal and Infant Survival
This document is directed at UNICEF staff working in countries to improve safety at childbirth for mothers and infants. Working in health, nutrition, education, communication and gender, they increasingly support the implementation by countries of cross-sectoral programmes, with districts and local communities as both actors and focus/targets for programming. District level planners, project managers in developing countries and countries in transition may find it of interest, as well as national government partners and non-governmental organization. Each chapter can be used as a separate resource. Also included are an annotated bibliography and a resource information note. More...

The Joint WHO/UNFPA/UNICEF/World Bank Statement on the Reduction of Maternal Mortality.
This is a consensus of United Nations agencies emerging from the Technical Consultation marking the tenth anniversary of the Safe Motherhood Initiative, on effective policies to ensure Safe Motherhood and how they can be implemented. More...

Safe Motherhood Initiative
The Inter-Agency Group resource for the Safe Motherhood Initiative to raise global awareness about the tragedy of maternal deaths and illnesses. It includes public service announcements, Safe Motherhood fact sheets, case studies, a brochure and 10 central action messages. More...

The Reproline®
The Reproductive Health Online website contains reproductive health, family planning and training information for health professionals, such as reproductive health trainers. It is tailored to the daily needs of ReproNetSM members and provides the tools, information and communication forums they need to perform their duties most effectively. ReproNet is part of JHPIEGO's network of family planning and reproductive health trainers and faculty. JHPIEGO is a nonprofit corporation, affiliate to Johns Hopkins University, working to improve the health of women and families throughout the world. More...

The Maternal and Neonatal Health (MNH) Programme
MNH is committed to saving mothers' lives by increasing the timely use of key maternal and neonatal health and nutrition practices.

Averting Maternal Death and Disability (AMDD)
This is a programme established in 1999 to work with developing countries to improve availability, quality and utilization of emergency obstetric care. More... 

What is EmOC?
A Q&A with UNICEF's Senior Advisor on Maternal Health

A reference list of supplies, equipment and drugs
This list includes the contents of UNICEF's Clean Birth Kit and Professional Midwifery Kit. It also describes the minimum equipment and supplies required at first referral level hospitals (extracted from Essential Elements of Obstetric Care at First Referral Level, WHO, Geneva, 1991).

Managing for Quality
Jointly managed by UNICEF and the Management Sciences for Health (MSH), this site provides health managers with the practical tools and examples to improve the quality of health services. It is part of the Electronic Resource Center of MSH. More...

Women-Friendly Health Services, Experiences in Maternal Care.
This report of a WHO/UNICEF/UNFPA workshop in Mexico City outlines the lessons learned from the development and implementation of measures that increase the friendliness of health services to women, based on the experiences of 108 participants from 25 countries. More...

Guidelines for Monitoring the Availability and Use of Obstetric Services
A UNICEF/WHO/UNFPA report. These Guidelines present a series of process indicators that assess the availability, use and quality of obstetric services and provide guidance on data collection and interpretation. This will help programme planners identify priority issues and interventions and identify areas of the programme that need to be strengthened. More...

Programming for Safe Motherhood: Guidelines for Maternal and Infant Survival
This document is directed at UNICEF staff working in countries to improve safety at childbirth for mothers and infants. Working in health, nutrition, education, communication and gender, they increasingly support the implementation by countries of cross-sectoral programmes, with districts and local communities as both actors and focus/targets for programming. District level planners, project managers in developing countries and countries in transition may find it of interest, as well as national government partners and non-governmental organization. Each chapter can be used as a separate resource. Also included are an annotated bibliography and a resource information note.


Africa Malaria Report 2003
Published in the occasion of Africa Malaria Day, the report also reflects this year’s theme of the event: “Insecticide Treated Nets and effective malaria treatment for pregnant women and young children by 2005”. Full report...

Malaria technical notes #1
Malaria implementation approach.

Malaria technical notes #2
Child health package

Malaria technical notes #3
Reproductive health package

Malaria technical notes #4
Malaria therapy policy

Malaria technical notes #5
Insecticide treated nets

Malaria technical notes #6
Malaria and HIV/AIDS


Malaria technical notes #7
Monitoring and evaluation

Effect of insecticide-treated bed nets on haemoglobin values, prevalence and multiplicity of infection with Plasmodium falciparum in a randomized controlled trial in Tanzania. Fraser-Hurt N, Felger I, Edoh D, Steiger S, Mashaka M, Masanja H, Smith T, Mben
A randomized controlled trial of insecticide-treated bed nets  was conducted in an area of high malaria transmission in Tanzania to assess the effects of treated nets on infection rates and anaemia. Some 122 children, aged five months  to 24 months, were randomly allocated to two groups, one of which received treated nets. Outcome measures were assessed in six consecutive months with monthly cross-sectional surveys. This study shows that treated nets reduce the risk of anaemia in highly-exposed young children. The virtually unchanged multiplicity of infection indicates that the potentially protective concomitant immunity is not compromised. Trop Med Hyg 1999 Feb;93 Suppl 1:47-51.

The impact of a national impregnated bed net programme on the outcome of pregnancy in primigravidae in The Gambia. D'Alessandro U, Langerock P, Bennett S, Francis N, Cham K, Greenwood BM
In 1992, the Gambian national impregnated bed net programme introduced insecticide treatment of bed nets into half of the primary health care villages in The Gambia. One component of the evaluation of this programme was the determination of whether it had any impact on the outcome of pregnancy in primigravidae. Medline

Insecticide-treated bednets reduce mortality and severe morbidity from malaria among children on the Kenyan coast. Nevill CG, Some ES, Mung'ala VO, Mutemi W, New L, Marsh K, Lengeler C, Snow
New tools to prevent malaria morbidity and mortality are needed to improve child survival in sub-Saharan Africa. Insecticide treated bednets have been shown, in one setting (The Gambia, West Africa), to reduce childhood mortality. To assess the impact of  treated bednets on child survival under different epidemiological and cultural conditions we conducted a community randomized, controlled trial of permethrin treated bednets (0.5 g/m2) among a rural population on the Kenyan Coast. These findings confirm the value of treated bednets in improving child survival and provide the first evidence of their specific role in reducing severe morbidity from malaria. Trop Med Int Health 1996 Apr;1(2):139-46

Roll Back Malaria
Between 300 million and 500 million people suffer acute cases of malaria in 100 developing countries each year, and the majority of the victims are children. In fact, the mosquito-borne disease is one of the leading causes of death among children under five. Alone or in combination with other diseases, malaria kills a child every 30 seconds. More...

Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI)

Briefing package

The Briefing Package is a training tool for C-IMCI facilitators working at country level. The tool was developed by the Inter-Agency Working Group on C-IMCI, under the coordination of WHO Africa Regional Office (AFRO). It also includes a participants' workbook and a training guide. 


Malawi case study on human rights-based approach and C-IMCI
"IMCI-Malawi: the transformation of the quality of life through a Human Rights-Based Approach to Programming (HRBAP) to Community based Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (C-IMCI)". 

25 Questions & Answers on health and human rights

Issue No. 1 of the Publication Series is "25 Questions and Answers on Health and Human Rights”. This publication lays the foundation for the rest of the series by suggesting answers to key questions which come to mind in exploring the linkages between health and human rights. For more information on health and human rights, also see WHO site on this topic.

An Inventory of Tools to Support Household and Community Based Programming for Child Survival, Growth and Development has been developed.

An integrated household assessment questionnaire was developed and used in seven districts in Tanzania. Based on this a generic questionnaire has been developed.

This generic tool has been adapted in Egypt based on the questionnaire used in Tanzania. Due to the size of the file, the adapted questionnaire is being made available in five modules.

Census cover form:
Census cover form (30kb):

Module 1:
Household caring for health and recognition of child sickness module (83kb):

Module 2:
Home management and care-seeking module (45kb):

Module 3:
Health facility influence and participation module (39kb):

Module 4:
Family/community participation module (42kb):

Module 5:
Under 5 years children, 2-week morbidity module (70kb):

The Household and Community Component of IMCI: A Resource Manual on Strategies and Implementation Steps
The purpose of this resource manual is to assist countries to develop and implement the household and community component of IMCI. The manual is intended to be an operational tool for adaptation to each country’s local situation. It should be used in conjunction with other guidelines developed by WHO and UNICEF on the implementation of IMCI.

World Health Organization in Collaboration with the Interagency Working Group on IMCI Monitoring and Evaluation. Indicators for IMCI At First-Level Facilities and Households, Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development.
This paper contains priority indicators for IMCI at the health-facility level; supplemental measures for IMCI at the health-facility level; priority indicators for IMCI at the household level; and proposed supplemental measures for IMCI at the household level.

Integrated Management of Childhood Illness: A Summary of First Experiences.
Policy and Practice, July 1999, 77. p. 582-594
This article outlines the lessons learned from the experiences of the first countries that adopted and implemented the IMCI interventions regarding the clinical guidelines on treating the major causes of morbidity and mortality in children, including a training package for health workers in first-level health facilities on the guidelines. The article also discusses how these lessons have helped to develop a broader IMCI strategy. More...

Integrated Approach to Child Health in Developing Countries
Lancet 1999; 354 (suppl II): 16-20.
This article discusses the rationale for an integrated strategy on child health. It also outlines the interventions and components of IMCI as well as case-management guidelines. The paper describes progress in improving health worker skills, the cost-effectiveness of IMCI and also talks about the issues, challenges and risks involved in an integrated strategy.IMCI - household and community component - A Resource Manual on Strategies and Implementation Steps - prepared by Health Section, UNICEF ESARO - July 1999. More...

Here below is a list of some key resources developed by the Inter Agency Working Group on Community IMCI (IAWG on C-IMCI). For more information on the partners and the content of work of the group, visit the IAWG on C-IMCI site.

Health in emergencies

Health Library for Disasters

Controlling the Spread of HIV/AIDS in Complex Emergencies in Africa
During the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Working Group (IASC WG) meeting held in Rome, 17 to 18 February 2000, it was concluded that in the context of HIV/AIDS, the main focus of its further consideration would, at this stage, be on HIV-AIDS in emergencies as opposed to HIV-AIDS as an emergency. The IASC WG agreed on the creation of a Reference sub-Working Group, led by the World Health Organization, whose task would be to consider the options and recommendations put forward by UNAIDs with the view of “delimiting” the scope of the involvement of IASC members and to formulate a plan of action. This document was outlines the “Main Assets of Agencies” in the context of HIV/AIDS in complex emergencies.