Manual for the health care of children in humanitarian emergencies

Manual for the health care of children in humanitarian emergencies

Reducing child mortality in emergencies

The acute phase of an emergency is defined by crude mortality rate and persists as long as the crude mortality rate is at least double the baseline mortality rate, that is, as long as there are twice as many people dying per day compared to the normal rate of death. The manual aims to reduce child morbidity and mortality by addressing the major causes of child morbidity and mortality in emergencies. The guidelines serve as a reference manual for the evaluation and management of children in emergencies, and as the basis for the training of health care workers. The target audience is first level health workers who provide care to children under the age of 5 years.

The manual focuses on the care of children where no inpatient hospital facilities are available. It assumes that some injectable and intravenous medicines can be given. The authors warn that these guidelines need to be adapted to meet local needs based on the local disease burden. Triage and emergency management are considered in addition to general assessment flow charts of children with conditions such as malaria, malnutrition, measles and diarrhoea. The guidelines conclude with suggestions for integrating the prevention and care of children within the local context and broader health care delivery system.

Additional areas covered include:

  • mental health and psychological support
  • prevention of HIV infection
  • immunization and other public health measures
  • poisoning
  • management of children with burns
  • injuries

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