Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illness Training in Lao PDR: A Pilot Study of an Adaptable Approach to Training and Supervision

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  • 1 Centre for International Child Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia;
  • | 2 Department of Pediatrics, National Children’s Hospital, Vientiane, Lao PDR;
  • | 3 The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia;
  • | 4 Health and Nutrition Section, UNICEF, Vientiane, Lao PDR

Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illness (IMNCI) has been part of the national strategy for child health in Lao Peoples Democratic Republic since 2003. The program, while running for an extended period, has faced multiple challenges including maintaining the teaching quality for the implementation of the IMNCI guidelines and a structure to enable and support healthcare workers trained to apply the training in their workplace. A revised training model that focused on building skills for teaching according to adult learning principles in a pool of facilitators, a practical and hands-on training workshop for healthcare workers, and the establishment of a program of health center supervision was developed and implemented in three provinces. Participants in the revised model reported increased confidence in implementing IMNCI guidelines, they demonstrated competence in the steps of IMNCI and on follow-up assessment at a supervision visit were found to have improved patient care through the measurement of pediatric case management scores. This study highlights the importance of a focus on education to ensure the translation of guidelines into practice and thereby lead to improvements in the quality of pediatric care. The IMNCI training approach is acceptable and valued by healthcare worker participants.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Freya O’Loughlin, Centre for International Child Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, E-mail: freya.louise@gmail.com or Amy Gray, Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne, Level 2 Academic Centre, The Royal Children’s Hospital, 50 Flemington Rd., Parkville, Australia 3052, E-mail: azgray@unimelb.edu.au.

Financial support: Pilot program supported by UNICEF Health and Nutrition Section Lao PDR.

Authors’ addresses: Freya O’Loughlin and Kongkham Sisouk, Centre for International Child Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, E-mails: freya.louise@gmail.com and ksisouk@yahoo.com. Sommanikhone Phangmanixay, Department of Pediatrics, National Children’s Hospital, Vientiane, Lao PDR, E-mail: s.phangmanixay@yahoo.com. Viengvaly Phommanivong, Onevanh Phiahouaphanh, Salwa AlEryani, and Hendrikus Raajimakers, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia, E-mails: vphommanivong@unicef.org, ophiahouapha@unicef.org, saleryani@unicef.org, and hraaijmakers@unicef.org. Amy Gray, Centre for International Child Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, and The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia, E-mail: amy.gray@rch.org.au.

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