The integrated management of childhood illness in western Uganda

P. R. Kolstad, G. Burnham, H. D. Kalter, N. Kenya-Mugisha, R. E. Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Bringing together various disease-specific guidelines for sick children, WHO and UNICEF have developed an Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) algorithm, one component of which (assess and classify) was tested in the outpatient department of a rural district hospital in western Uganda. Children aged 2-59 months were seen first by a Ugandan medical assistant trained in IMCI, and then evaluated by a medical officer. Sensitivity, specificity and positive predictive values were determined by comparing the IMCI classifications with a reference standard based on the medical officers' diagnoses and laboratory tests. Of the 1226 children seen, 69% were classified into more than one symptom category, 7% were not classified in any symptom category, 8% had a danger sign, and 16% were classified into a severe category, for which the IMCI approach recommended urgent hospital referral. Specificity for most classifications was good, though sensitivity and positive predictive values were variable. We conclude that the IMCI algorithm is an important advance in the primary care of sick children in developing countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-85
Number of pages9
JournalBulletin of the World Health Organization
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Sep 5 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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