When sick children arrive at primary health care (PHC) facilities, it is critical that they are appropriately screened, diagnosed, and managed, and if needed, referred to urgent care without delay. Clinical signs alone do not detect all indicators of severe illness in children. In order for health care workers to make the right diagnosis, they must be equipped with the right tools and training, including access to and training for pulse oximeters and clinical decision support tools.
In many facilities across low- and middle-income countries, these critical tools are not broadly available, not functioning properly, not suited for newborns and children under one year old, or providers lack appropriate training and support. In addition, there is often no comprehensive policy to help countries select the best devices for their environments, and little information is available on their health impact, cost-effectiveness, or suitability in PHC settings.
PATH, with support from Unitaid, and in partnership with the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, is implementing the Tools for Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (TIMCI) project to improve access to affordable and appropriate tools to help health care workers identify critically ill children and refer them for treatment without delay.