Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI)

IMCI is an intervention strategy designed by the World Health Organisation and UNICEF to address common childhood illness namely Pneumonia Diarrhoea, Malnutrition, Malaria and HIV/ AIDS. The strategy offers a set of intervention that promote rapid recognition and effective treatment of common childhood illness in children less than 5 years of age.
All Primary Health care facilities are implementing IMCI
What communities should know about the care of Children?
1. Feeding your baby

  • Breastfeed the baby( only breast milk) for the first 6 months of life, Breastfeed whenever the baby wants at least 8 times in 24 hours
  • At 6 months, start feeding the child freshly prepared nutritious food that is available at home and continue to breastfeed until the child is at least 2 years old.
  •  2 years and older- feed 5 times a day, Give family foods 3 meals each day, twice daily give nutritious snacks between meals such as bread with peanut butter or margarine, Fresh fruit and full cream milk.
  • Feed using a spoon and plate

2. Vitamins and Minerals
Give your child foods which are rich in Vitamin A, iron and iodine.  These foods include pawpaw, mangoes, Peaches, apricot, Pumpkin, Butternut, carrot and green leafy vegetables like spinach. Fish, meat, Chicken and chicken liver.
3. Baby’s development

  • Mothers and fathers spend time with your child, talking, listening, playing and showing your child love. This will help your child to grow properly.
  • Take your child for growth monitoring and promotion to detect growth faltering
  • Provide ways for the child to see, feel and move
  • Have large colourful things for your child to reach for, and new things to see
  • Give your child safe household things to handle, bang and drop
  • Give your child things to stack up, and put into containers and take out
  • Help your child count, name and compare things, Make simple toys for your child

4. Water and sanitation

  • Dispose faeces safely
  • Wash hands with water and soap after changing children’s nappies, before preparing meals, and before feeding children
  • Ensure that clean water is used for drinking
  • Take your child to the clinic for deworming every 6 months, starting at 12 months of age

5. Malaria

  • Know the signs of malaria in children: Fever, fast breathing, headache and sweating and take child to the clinic
  • Allow indoor insecticides house spraying

6. Child Abuse

  • Watch over and protect children from abuse and neglect, and give them loving care so that they can grow and develop well
  • When the child has been abused take urgent steps to comfort and take the child to the nearest clinic

7. Accident at Home

  • Watch over children carefully to make sure they do not get hurt
  • Keep potentially dangerous items out of reach of children
  • Young children should be kept away from dangerous areas
  • If the child is injured take the child to the nearest clinic as soon as possible


  • Prevention of HIV in children is best achieved by prevention of infection in men and women. For the sake of your baby know your status and practice safe sex at all times
  • Children need constant supervision and protection from abuse
  • Children need to be well nourished
  • Orphans and vulnerable children whose parents are ill need particular care, love, education, shelter and support from families, communities and health workers
  • Antiretroviral must be taken correctly every day

9. Birth registration
Make sure that you register the birth of your child within the first month of life
10. Home care for sick children

  • Continue to feed the child when sick
  • If the child is breastfed, breastfeed more often
  • If the child is not breastfed, increase fluids in small amounts


  • If the child has diarrhoea give sugar- salt solution. (SSS)  also known as Motswako
  • Give the SSS after every loose stool – under 2 years give half a cup, 2 years to 5 years give 1 cup
  • If the child vomits, wait 10 minutes then continue, but more slowly
  • Continue giving SSS until the diarrhoea stops
  • If the child is being breastfed continue to breastfeed frequently and for longer
  • Take the child to the clinic for ZINC and assessment

10. Children must be taken urgently to the nearest clinic when any of these danger signs occur

  • Child unable to drink or breastfeed
  • Child Vomits everything
  • Convulsions
  • Child lethargic or unconscious

11. After you have been to the clinic

  • Give the child the full course of medicine even when the child appear to be getting better
  • Children who are taking Antiretroviral for HIV or anti TB treatment must take every  tablet or medicine as prescribed even if they are feeling better
  • Go back for follow up at the clinic as discussed with the health worker if the child is getting sicker or even if the child appears to be getting better
  • Go back to the same clinic or Doctor if the child is not getting better
  • Take your child to the hospital if the health worker asks you to do so
  • Remember always to take the Road To Health Booklet with you when visiting the clinic or hospital

12. Immunisation
Take your child for a full course of immunisation according to the time table marked on the Road to Health Booklet
Please Contact Ms H.B. Mlati, Deputy Director: Child Health @ 015 293 6097/ Email: Beatrice.