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Determinants of Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) non-severe pneumonia classification and care in Malawi health facilities: Analysis of a national facility census
Authors: Johansson EW, Nsona H, Carvajal-Aguirre L, Amouzou A, and Hildenwall H
Source: Journal of Global Health, 7(2): 020408; DOI: 10.7189/jogh.07.020408
Topic(s): Child health
Children under five
Country: Africa
Published: DEC 2017
Abstract: Background: Research shows inadequate Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI)-pneumonia care in various low-income settings but evidence is largely from small-scale studies with limited evidence of patient-, provider- and facility-levels determinants of IMCI non-severe pneumonia classification and its management. Methods: The Malawi Service Provision Assessment 2013-2014 included 3149 outpatients aged 2-59 months with completed observations, interviews and re-examinations. Mixed-effects logistic regression models quantified the influence of patient-, provider and facility-level determinants on having IMCI non-severe pneumonia and its management in observed consultations. Findings: Among 3149 eligible outpatients, 590 (18.7%) had IMCI non-severe pneumonia classification in re-examination. 228 (38.7%) classified cases received first-line antibiotics and 159 (26.9%) received no antibiotics. 18.6% with cough or difficult breathing had 60-second respiratory rates counted during consultations, and conducting this assessment was significantly associated with IMCI training ever received (odds ratio (OR)?=?2.37, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.29-4.31) and negative rapid diagnostic test results (OR?=?3.21, 95% CI: 1.45-7.13). Older children had lower odds of assessments than infants (OR?=?48-59 months: 0.35, 95% CI: 0.16-0.75). Children presenting with any of the following complaints also had reduced odds of assessment: fever, diarrhea, skin problem or any danger sign. First-line antibiotic treatment for classified cases was significantly associated with high temperatures (OR?=?3.26, 95% CI: 1.24-8.55) while older children had reduced odds of first-line treatment compared to infants (OR?=?48-59 months: 0.29, 95% CI: 0.10-0.83). RDT-confirmed malaria was a significant predictor of no antibiotic receipt for IMCI non-severe pneumonia (OR?=?10.65, 95% CI: 2.39-47.36). Conclusions: IMCI non-severe pneumonia care was sub-optimal in Malawi health facilities in 2013-2014 with inadequate assessments and prescribing practices that must be addressed to reduce this leading cause of mortality. Child's symptoms and age, malaria diagnosis and provider training were primary influences on assessment and treatment practices. Current evidence could be used to better target IMCI training and support to improve pneumonia care for sick children in Malawi facilities.