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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.
Effectiveness of clinical guidelines for the presumptive treatment of streptococcal pharyngitis in Egyptian children.
Lancet. 1997 Sep 27; 350(9082):918-21.In developing country settings without access to bacterial culture and rapid diagnostic tests, the prevention of acute rheumatic fever depends on clinicians' presumptive treatment of streptococcal pharyngitis. This study evaluated the effectiveness of World Health Organization (WHO) acute respiratory infection guidelines in a large pediatric clinic (Abu Reesh Children's Hospital) in Cairo, Egypt. 451 children 2-13 years of age with sore throat and pharyngeal erythema were enrolled, 107 (24%) of whom had group A beta-hemolytic streptococci on throat culture. Purulent exudate, present in 99 (22%) of these children, was 31% sensitive and 81% specific for a positive culture. The WHO guidelines, which recommend treatment for pharyngeal exudate plus enlarged and tender cervical node, were 12% sensitive and 94% specific. Based on these guidelines, 13 of 107 children with a positive throat culture would correctly receive antibiotics and 323 of 344 with a negative culture would not receive antibiotics. A modified guideline in which exudate or large cervical nodes would indicate antibiotic treatment would be 84% sensitive and 40% specific. With this modification, 90 of 107 children with a positive throat culture would correctly receive antibiotics and 138 out of 344 with a negative culture would not receive treatment. However, additional prospective studies from other regions of Egypt are necessary before modified guidelines are implemented.