Ending Preventable Child Deaths with Integrated Community Case Management: Stronger Pharmaceutical Systems for Healthier Communities
Many child deaths in developing countries are preventable: Children die from treatable conditions, such as pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria, because families in rural, hard-to-reach, or conflict-ridden areas can’t access or afford the treatments. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), launched in September 2015, set ambitious targets of ending preventable child deaths by 2030 and reducing mortality among children under age five to at least 25 per 1,000 live births. Integrated community case management (iCCM) has been recognized as a key strategy for increasing access to essential treatments and meeting the objectives for children under five laid out in the SDGs. Integrated community case management entails training volunteer community health workers to serve as the first point of contact for medical treatment in remote areas, enabling them to recognize and treat common childhood illnesses. To be effective, community health workers must operate within a broader pharmaceutical system in which the needs for quality medicines and other health commodities are assured. That’s where the USAID-funded Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program, led by Management Sciences for Health (MSH), comes in: supporting community health workers using integrated community case management to save children’s lives by helping governments strengthen five elements of the pharmaceutical system: Governance, Information Management, Service Delivery, Human Resources, Financing.