Circular 6/2001 Integrated management of childhood illnesses

16 May 2001

To all Nursing Education Institutions, Universities, Technikons, Nursing Colleges and Nursing Schools


Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI): The problem of implementing conventional examinations for student assessment


The World Health Organisation (WHO) Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI) strategy is currently being implemented by virtue of MINMEC (meeting of the Minister of Health and the Provincial MECs for Health) and PHRC (Provincial Health Restructuring Committee) resolution of July 1999 at primary level. According to the Department of Health IMCI Case Management is being introduced into the Diploma in Clinical Nursing Science, Health Assessment, Treatment and Care course in several institutions.  This is over and above the approximately 1 500 nurses who have obtained in-service training.

IMCI Case Management is based on classification – rather than diagnosis – as well as an excellent triage system.  The latter in turn is based on a few validated symptoms and signs, which have been demonstrated to be more reliable than the conventional clinical approach.

Apparently examiners are unfamiliar with the strategy and tutors thus feel obliged to encourage the conventional approach for purposes of the examination.  Apart from causing confusion in the mind of the student this tends to undermine the value of the strategy.

Council on 23 May 2001 resolved that all nurse educators offering the programme as well as examiners must have undergone training in IMCI so that it is understood why the appropriate evaluation method is to be implemented.


Your co-operation in overcoming this problem will be highly appreciated.


Dr G Ramadi
for Registrar and Chief Executive Officer
South African Nursing Council15