Managing programmes to improve child health
Introduction, planning implementation, managing implementation, workbook, facilitator guide
Child health interventions are treatments, technologies, and key family practices that prevent or treat childhood illness and reduce deaths in children under five years of age. At the national level, child health programme management and partners should select the most important child health interventions to implement in the country, based on the primary causes of morbidity and mortality and the feasibility of implementing different interventions. Child health programme managers at the other administrative levels, such as the region, sub-region, and district, must understand the child survival problems in their area and the framework specified in the country’s strategic plan for child health. They must then plan to implement the selected interventions for child health in a way that will be effective in their administrative areas, manage that implementation on an ongoing basis, and periodically evaluate what has been achieved.
Managing Programmes to Improve Child Health is designed to give managers essential knowledge and skills that they can use to improve programme management. Many child health managers have backgrounds in medicine or nursing, and have never received training in programme management. It is assumed that they will pick up necessary skills, although this is often not the case. For this reason, training in key management concepts and skills is essential.
Better planning and management of child health programmes is urgently needed. Although simple and effective interventions to reduce child deaths are available, these interventions are often not reaching the children who most need them. Programmes that are well planned and managed are more likely to improve intervention coverage, reduce child deaths, an help achieve MDG4.