Verified Progress in Reducing Child Mortality

IMCI is one of the most effective strategies to reduce mortality rates in children under five.IMCI is one of the most effective strategies to reduce mortality rates in children under five.

At a specialized workshop on implementing the final package of Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) in Bandar Abbas, Hormozgan Province, on Saturday, UNICEF representative in Iran Will Parks said Iran has made steady progress to reduce mortality in children under the age of five.

“The progress has been satisfactory as per the Millennium Development Goals (MDG 4) to reduce the mortality rate of children under five between 1990-2015 by 75% ,” he said at the function in Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, IRNA reported.

Child health improvement is one of the most important indexes in national health programs. Based on the World Health Organization recommendation, IMCI is one of the most effective strategies to reduce mortality rates in children under five.

IMCI is an integrated approach to child health that focuses on the entire well-being of the child. It aims to reduce death, illness and disability and promote improved growth and development among children under five. The approach includes both preventive and curative elements that are implemented by families and communities as well as by health facilities.

The strategy comprises three main components: improving case management skills of healthcare staff, improving overall health systems, and improving family and community health practices.

Iran has been implementing the strategy for over a decade and now seeks to reach Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which envisions ending preventable deaths of newborns and children under five by 2030.

“So far, the IMCI has been adopted and implemented in over 75 countries,” Parks said.

  Global Figures

Worldwide, child mortality has dropped to 43 per 1,000 live births from 91 in 1990. Under-five deaths dropped from 12.7 million per year in 1990 to 5.9 million in 2015. This is the first year the figure has gone below the 6 million mark, according to the WHO.

Iran has managed to reduce the mortality rate among children under five to 16 per 1,000 live births in 2015 from around 60 in 1990s, according to the World Bank.

About 1,000 children die annually in the country due to severe diarrhea. The national childhood immunization program does not provide vaccines for ailments like rotavirus, pneumococcal bacterial infection and human papilloma virus (HPV).

The Health Ministry, however, plans to introduce rotavirus vaccine (RV) and the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) in the national program.

Introducing and implementing the IMCI strategy is a phased process that requires coordination among existing health programs and services. It involves working closely with local authorities and health centers to plan and adapt the principles of the approach to local circumstances.


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