Using integrated community case management (iCCM) saves lives

Sep 16, 2019
2 MIN. READ

More evidence that iCCM is bringing essential care closer to children in hard-to-reach communities.

iCCM is a strategy that trains and deploys community health workers in hard-to-reach areas. These caring community members are trained to provide diagnostic, treatment, and referral services for three common, treatable, and curable childhood illnesses: malaria, pneumonia, and diarrhea. Young children are especially vulnerable to these illnesses, and iCCM offers caregivers in these hard-to-reach communities a way to help children under five get the treatment they need before it’s too late.

13 articles that demonstrate the effectiveness of iCCM

In June 2019 the Journal of Global Health (JOGH) published the Rapid Access Expansion (RAcE) of integrated community case management of malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea collection, a set of articles about the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Rapid Access Expansion (RAcE) Program. ICF staff were lead authors of 6 of the 13 articles in the collection and contributed as supporting authors to 8 of the articles.

The WHO RAcE Program catalyzed the scale-up of integrated community case management (iCCM) through partnerships with Ministries of Health and grants to NGOs in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger, and two States in Nigeria (Abia and Niger).

Through the combined efforts of WHO, Ministries of Health, NGOs, community health workers, and community members and caregivers, the RAcE program was able to bring critical care closer to children in hard-to-reach communities.

The JOGH RAcE collection presents evidence that suggests iCCM is a strategy that saves lives and can measurably decrease child mortality in settings where access to health facility services is low and adequate resources for iCCM implementation are provided for community health worker services. The collection of articles highlights:

  • achievements and challenges to iCCM implementation;
  • barriers along the pathway to child survival;
  • the importance of quality of care and quality of data to iCCM programs; and
  • tools that can be used to measure and improve them.

How ICF contributed to the WHO RAcE program

A desire to support important causes is woven into the ICF DNA, and this project exemplifies the meaningful public health work that captures our hearts and minds.

We provided technical assistance on monitoring and evaluation (M&E) to NGO grantees throughout the program lifecycle and conducted a final evaluation in each RAcE project area. Our M&E support included developing performance monitoring frameworks, creating a standardized household survey protocol and tools, validating M&E data submitted by each implementing partner, and conducting data quality assessments of iCCM data reporting systems.

Our team also led strategic planning with WHO and partners to ensure the sustainability of iCCM services. We created a sustainability framework for the RAcE program, facilitated an iterative planning process with the Ministries of Health and other stakeholders, built context-specific iCCM Sustainability Roadmaps for each country, and assisted NGO grantees to develop and monitor plans to transition their work to local institutions.

The WHO RAcE program demonstrates that iCCM is an effective strategy that helps save the lives of children in remote communities—giving them the opportunity to grow and thrive.

By Debra Prosnitz
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