1.4.1  The IMNCI case management process

You need to know the age of the child in order to select the appropriate chart and begin the assessment process. The IMNCI case management process is presented on two different sets of charts: one for managing sick young infants aged from birth up to two months and a separate one for managing sick children aged from two months up to five years. First decide which chart to use depending on the age of the child. Up to five years means the child has not yet had his or her fifth birthday. If the child is not yet two months of age, the child is considered a young infant. A child who is two months old would be in the group two months up to five years, not in the group birth up to two months. When you look the IMNCI chart booklet you will see the different charts for the two age groups.

Since management of the young infant aged from birth up to two months is somewhat different from the management of older infants and children, it is described on a different chart:

  • Assess, classify and treat the sick young infant.

The case management process for sick children aged two months up to five years is presented on three charts:

  • Assess and classify the sick child
  • Treat the child
  • Counsel the mother.

If this is the child’s first visit for this episode of an illness or problem, then this is an initial visit. If the child was seen a few days before for the same illness, this is a follow-up visit. A follow-up visit has a different purpose from an initial visit. You will learn more about follow-up visits in all of the study sessions in this Module. Whether it is an initial or follow-up visit, the mother may well be feeling anxious and it is important that you put her at her ease. This will increase the likelihood of you being able to obtain important information about her child.

For each visit, when you see the mother, or the child’s caregiver, with the sick child:

  • Greet the mother appropriately and ask about the child
  • Take the child’s weight and temperature and record the measurements
  • Ask the mother what the child’s problems are
  • Determine if this is an initial or follow-up visit for this problem.
  • Which IMNCI process should you follow when a mother visits your health post with her sick child?

  • There are two sets of charts, one for babies up to the age of two months and one set of three charts for babies and children from two months to five years. Therefore you should find out the age of the child from the mother or from a record chart if this is a follow-up visit and there is already information available to you. This will tell you which chart you should use to assess, classify and determine the correct treatment and follow-up care.

So you can provide the best advice, you need to know what the general danger signs are in sick infants and children. You are going to learn about these next.

1.4  IMNCI case management

1.5  General danger signs (GDS)