In 1997 Nigeria adopted the implementation of IMCI strategy as the main thrust of its child survival efforts. To this end six LGAs  (Chanchaga – Niger State, Municipal – Kano State, Jere – Borno State, Oweri West – Imo State, Uyo – Akwa Ibom State, and Ife central Osun State ) were selected in the six geopolitical zones to begin the first phase of implementation  of the strategy.

IMCI aims to reduce morbidity and mortality as well as promote growth and development in under 5 Children in a holistic manner using in expensive, effective and affordable technique.

Benefits of IMCI Strategy in the Health Facility

  • Promote accurate identification and treatment of most important causes of Childhood deaths and illness
  • Uses inexpensive, effective and affordable techniques
  • Provides the opportunity for and emphasizing important preventive interventions such as.
  1. Immunization
  2. Improved Infant and child nutrition including breast feeding
  3. Strengthens the counselling of caregivers
  4. Prompt referral of severely sick children.

Implementation of IMCI started in Kano State as far back in 1999 with training of trainers’ (TOT) workshop by WHO. In 2003, 30 service providers were trained on case management in Kano Municipal LGA as pilot.

In 2005 – 2006 about 90 service providers trained i.e. 30 doctors, 30 nurses and 30 community health workers from all secondary health facilities in the State by PATHS I since then the programme have remain dormant despite all effort to scale up the training to all LGAs prove abortive, apart from secondary health facilities and Kano Municipal LGA, the remaining 43 LGAs are not trained on IMCI and still uses expensive, in effective and un affordable method in managing sick children under five years of age.

After training, simple equipment are needed in our primary health facilities to implement IMCI e.g. Assessment charts, clinical thermometers, ORT Kits and essential Drugs. So if implemented will save a lot of money used by LGAs to purchase expensive antibiotics for their facilities.

Function of IMCI Unit

  • Build capacity of service providers on IMCI
  • Co – ordination of IMCI activities in the state.
  • Training of community resource persons to counsel care givers
  • Formation of community – IMCI Working groups
  • Supervise community resource persons
  • Sensitize care givers on key House hold practice
  • Establish community IMCI centres for food demonstration and income generating activities
  • Investigation and control of diarrhoeal diseases through contact tracing during outbreaks