Implementing IMCI in Kenya: challenges and recommendations

Implementing IMCI in Kenya: challenges and recommendations

Urgent action needed to increase coverage of IMCI in Kenya

This policy brief, by the Consortium for Research on Equitable Health Systems (CREHS), looks at the challenges of implementing the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) strategy in Kenya. The IMCI strategy, developed by WHO and UNICEF, aims to improve the management of childhood illness at the primary health care level by improving case management skills, improving health care delivery systems and increasing community involvement and awareness of measures to improve child health.

The policy brief shows that Kenya has made some progress in rolling out the IMCI strategy, however, implementation remains highly inadequate. The 3 main challenges to implementation are: low training coverage, health workers not following guidelines, and barriers to accessing services. These challenges reflect a range of IMCI-specific and broader health system constraints.

The authors outline recommendations for increasing IMCI coverage and implementation. They argue that urgent action is needed to review pre-service training, scale up in-service training, address facility-level implementation challenges, improve IMCI supervision, and build support for the strategy.

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