IMCI Implementation in Tanzania: Experiences, challenges and lessons.
Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) was introduced in Tanzania in 1996 in an attempt to reduce child mortality. The IMCI strategy was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as an integrated approach to improve child health. Tanzania was one of the countries included in a Multi-Country Evaluation (MCE) of IMCI, coordinated by WHO in 1999-2002. The MCE found that IMCI improved quality of care for children under 5 years of age, reduced child mortality by 13% and was cost-effective. However, a decade after the introduction of IMCI in Tanzania, several challenges have emerged and training of health workers remains the main activity implemented. The Ifakara Health Institute conducted a qualitative case study to investigate the IMCI implementation process at different levels of the health system. A good performing district (Bunda) and less well performing district (Tarime) were picked to investigate implementation experiences at district and facility levels. This policy brief highlights the challenges to IMCI implementation in Tanzania and provides recommendations to improve implementation in the future.
CREHS Policy Brief, 4 pp.