Caring for the sick child in the community

Integrated management of childhood illness in the community


Joe Langton, Chris Williams, Rebecca Mann, Chris O'Callaghan
Commissioned by the World Health Organisation

Tragically, a child dies from avoidable illness every 3 seconds: the major causes are diarrhoea & vomiting, pneumonia, malaria and malnutrition. Simple treatments will prevent these deaths and training is urgently needed.

Every three seconds, a child dies due to avoidable illness.


  • Develop practical, simple, engaging multimedia training in identifying and treating pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria and malnutrition
  • Collecting videos of sick children in Malawi, showing how they present and are treated
  • Work with health workers from remote areas so that the training programs really are relevant to their needs
  • Provide evidence that the training materials really do improve the clinical skills of health workers
  • Work with partners at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Blantyre, Malawi to gather high-definition videos showing signs of illness
  • Collect further filming in villages across Malawi to show real-life Community Health Workers caring for sick children and giving the right treatments
  • Get feedback from Community Health Workers and other key stakeholders, using interviews and focus groups, so that materials are useful, and relevant
  • Test the impact of the materials on Community Health Workers’ skills and clinical decision making

To produce the highest quality training program, containing video examples of multiple clinical cases that will cover the assessment and treatment of children with diarrhoea & vomiting, malaria, pneumonia and malnutrition.

  • Welcoming the child and caregiver
  • Asking and looking for signs of illness
  • Deciding the right treatment
  • Showing how to give the right treatment
  • Prevention with vaccinations and treated bed nets to prevent malaria

A major advantage of this approach is that the materials produced in Malawi can also be used in other countries across sub – Saharan Africa, markedly increasing their impact.

Caring for the sick child in the community
Improving the care of children (diarrhoea, malaria, pneumonia, malnutrition)

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