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Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, Division of Family Health, Programme of Maternal and Child Health and Family Planning, 1991 Dec. , 122 p. (WHO/MCH/91.10)This WHO consultation on maternal and perinatal infections reviews the epidemiology of these infections, examines the effectiveness of known intervention strategies to prevent and treat these infections, notes gaps in current knowledge, and develops recommendations for implementation of appropriate control strategies. The report is geared toward maternal and child health professionals in developing countries where maternal and perinatal infections cause considerable morbidity and death. These countries have limited resources for health care (e.g., US $5-10/person), largely due to the worsening economic situation. The report centers on the feasibility, effectiveness, and cost of interventions to prevent, treat, and control the infections. It has summary cost-effective analyses of maternal and perinatal infections and proposed interventions using 3 different hypothetical country situations to help policymakers decide on priorities and policies on prevention, treatment, and control of these infections. The report dedicates a chapter to each infection (syphilis, neonatal tetanus, malaria, hepatitis, HIV infections, chlamydial infections, herpes simplex infection, Group B Streptococcal infections, and maternal genital infection causing premature birth and low birth weight). Each chapter addresses their clinical and public health significance; prevalence in pregnant women and transmission from mother to fetus/infant; clinical effects; prevention, treatment, and control; and cost effectiveness and feasibility of various interventions. Based on public health importance, feasibility, and affordability, the consultants agreed that national and international programs should place the highest priority on these perinatal infections: gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum, maternal and congenital syphilis, neonatal tetanus, hepatitis B, and maternal puerperal infections.
SYNOPSIS. 1998 Jan; (2):1-8.The World Health Organization (WHO)/UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) guidelines were designed to maximize detection and appropriate treatment of illnesses due to the most common causes of child mortality and morbidity in developing countries: pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, measles, bacterial infections in young infants, malnutrition, anemia, and ear problems. The health worker first examines the child and checks immunization status, then classifies the child's illness and identifies the appropriate treatment based on a color-coded triage system. By May 1997, 17 countries had introduced IMCI and 16 others were in the process of introduction. This issue reports on field tests of the guidelines conducted in Kenya, the Gambia, Uganda, Bangladesh, and Tanzania. Health workers who used the guidelines performed well when compared to physicians who had access to laboratory and radiographic findings as well as health workers trained in full case management. Of concern, however, are research findings suggesting the potential for overdiagnosis in some disease classifications. Current IMCI research priorities include the following: 1) determining health workers' ability to learn to detect lower chest wall indrawing; 2) identifying clinical signs to increase the specificity of referral for severe pneumonia; 3) identifying other clinical signs to increase the specificity of hospital referrals, thereby reducing unnecessary referrals; 4) investigating how clinical care for severely ill children could be expanded in areas where referral is not feasible; 5) finding ways to increase the specificity of the diagnosis of malaria; and 6) recognizing clinical signs to increase the specificity of the diagnosis of severe anemia and the specificity of the diagnosis of moderate or mild anemia, with the possible goal of regional adaptation of the anemia guidelines.