By: Alyssa Sharkey
Pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria together account for more than half of deaths among children ages 6 months to 5 years. New preventive interventions – such as the pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines – will help reduce this mortality burden. But ensuring prompt and effective treatment of these all-too-common illnesses (particularly among disadvantaged children without easy access to services) remains essential to reducing child mortality and achieving MDG4 (reduction in under-5 mortality).
- ORS and zinc are known to be effective against childhood diarrhea mortality: ORS can prevent 93 percent (1) of diarrhea deaths and zinc can prevent 23 percent (2) of diarrhea deaths
- implementing CCM of pneumonia can prevent 70 percent of pneumonia-related mortality in children under-five (3)
- implementing CCM of malaria for children under-five has the potential to prevent overall mortality by 40 percent, malaria-specific mortality by 60 percent, and severe malaria morbidity by 53 percent. (4,5)
Questions for discussion:
- What are the biggest challenges you have experienced (or can foresee) when implementing an iCCM program? Challenges could relate to the supply side of the system (for example, ensuring a continuous supply of essential medicines for CHWs or ensuring good supervision practices); they could also relate to the demand side of the system (for example, gaining the trust of families to utilize iCCM services).
Please share any possible solutions you have used, or are currently testing, to resolve the challenges created by iCCM programs.
- Are mobile health technologies (such as text messaging via cell phones or GPS technologies) used in conjunction with iCCM helpful in addressing implementation challenges? If so, how? Please share any examples from the field.
Alyssa Sharkey is a Health Specialist in Knowledge Management at UNICEF New York. Her current focus is to support UNICEF’s approach to improve health equity, particularly in the most deprived localities. Alyssa holds a PhD in Population, Family and Reproductive Health, and a Master of Health Science in Maternal and Child Health from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, as well as a Master of Science in Medicine from the University of Cape Town. She has worked as a policy researcher and program manager in the field of maternal and child health for over 15 years both in the United States and internationally.