Managing pneumonia through facility-based Integrated Management of Childhood Management (IMCI) Services: An analysis of the service availability and readiness among public health facilities in Bangladesh

Ahmed Rahamn, Shema Mhajabin, David H Dockrell, Harish Nair, Shams El Arifeen, Harry Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background With an estimated 24,000 deaths per year, pneumonia is the single largest cause of death among young children in Bangladesh, accounting for 18% of all under-5 deaths. The Government of Bangladesh adopted the WHO recommended Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI)-strategy in 1998 for outpatient management of pneumonia, which was scaled-up nationally by 2014. This paper reports the service availability and readiness related to IMCI-based pneumonia management in Bangladesh. We conducted a secondary analysis of the Bangladesh Health Facility Survey-2017, which was conducted with a nationally representative sample including all administrative divisions and types of health facilities. We limited our analysis to District Hospitals (DHs), Maternal and Child Welfare Centres (MCWCs), Upazila (sub-district) Health Complexes (UHCs), and Union Health and Family Welfare Centres (UH&FWCs), which are mandated to provide IMCI services. Readiness was reported based on 10 items identified by national experts as ‘essential’ for pneumonia management. Results More than 90% of DHs and UHCs, and three-fourths of UH&FWCs and MCWCs provide IMCI-based pneumonia management services. Less than two-third of the staff had ever received IMCI-based pneumonia training. Only one-third of the facilities had a functional ARI timer or a watch able to record seconds on the day of the visit. Pulse oximetry was available in 27% of the district hospitals, 18% of the UHCs and none of the UH&FWCs. Although more than 80% of the facilities had amoxicillin syrup or dispersible tablets, only 16% had injectable gentamicin. IMCI service registers were not available in nearly one-third of the facilities and monthly reporting forms were not available in around 10% of the facilities. Only 18% of facilities had a high-readiness (score 8–10), whereas 20% had a low-readiness (score 0–4). The readiness was significantly poorer among rural and lower level facilities (p < 0.001). Seventy-two percent of the UHCs had availability of one of any of the four oxygen sources (oxygen concentrators, filled oxygen cylinder with flowmeter, filled oxygen cylinder without flowmeter, and oxygen distribution system) followed by DHs (66%) and MCWCs (59%). Conclusion There are substantial gaps in the readiness related to IMCI-based pneumonia management in public health facilities in Bangladesh. Since pneumonia remains a major cause of child death nationally, Bangladesh should make a substantial effort in programme planning, implementation and monitoring to address these critical gaps to ensure better provision of essential care for children suffering from pneumonia.
Original languageEnglish
Article number667
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Volume21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2021

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