MEDRIX attempts to reduce mortality and morbidity within Vietnam by sponsoring pediatric training courses for passionate doctors, nurses, and pediatric specialists. The specific aim of these courses are to reduce death, disease and disability for children under the age of five. Many children in developing countries die from preventable diseases or illnesses before the age of five, such as diarrhea. The doctors that treat them are dedicated but often lack the skills and equipment to properly diagnose these children, and often rely on past experiences or the most apparent symptoms to treat them. MEDRIX-sponsored pediatric courses attempt to raise the level of knowledge for these health care providers by strictly adhering the World Health Organization’s criteria for Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI); our courses have trained 349 health professionals from all over Vietnam since 2006.
What is IMCI?
IMCI is an integrated approach to child health that focuses on the well-being of the whole child. IMCI aims to reduce death, illness and disability, and to promote improved growth and development among children under five years of age. IMCI includes both preventive and curative elements that are implemented by families and communities as well as by health facilities.
The strategy includes three main components:
- Improving case management skills of health-care staff
- Improving overall health systems
- Improving family and community health practices.
Why is this effective?
Children who are brought in for medical treatment in developing countries are often suffering from multiple conditions, which make treatment for one specific symptom impossible. IMCI takes a holistic view of health and takes into account the variety of factors that can make children sick. IMCI also emphasizes preventative treatment through improved nutrition and vaccinations.
MEDRIX and IMCI
MEDRIX is just a small part of the bigger picture when it comes to transforming community health care and awareness in Vietnam. Our IMCI courses are not independent; they are carefully coordinated with our local Vietnamese partners as well as the Ministry of Health. Principles are planned and adapted according to local and cultural circumstances. IMCI has been introduced to over 75 countries worldwide. MEDRIX strives to reach health workers in rural areas who need the expanded education the most: we have seen doctors and nurses from minority and rural communities travel hundreds of miles through the jungle and broken-down roads to attend classes at Hue Central Hospital. This means that their new-found knowledge and skills will travel all over Vietnam, making an exponential difference in the lives of children.