Diagnosis and management of febrile children using the WHO/UNICEF guidelines for IMCI in Dhaka, Bangladesh

S. H. Factor, J. A. Schillinger, H. D. Kalter, S. Saha, H. Begum, A. Hossain, M. Hossain, V. Dewitt, M. Hanif, N. Khan, B. Perkins, R. E. Black, B. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To determine whether the fever module in the WHO/UNICEF guidelines for the integrated management of childhood illness (IMCI) identifies children with bacterial infections in an area of low malaria prevalence. Methods: Physicians assessed a systematic sample of 669 sick children aged 2-59 months who presented to the outpatient department of Dhaka Shishu Hospital, Bangladesh. Findings: Had IMCI guidelines been used to evaluate the children, 78% of those with bacterial infections would have received antibiotics: the majority of children with meningitis (100%), pneumonia (95%), otitis media (95%) and urinary tract infection (83%); and 50% or less of children with bacteraemia (50%), dysentery (48%), and skin infections (30%). The current fever module identified only one additional case of meningitis. Children with bacteraemia were more likely to be febrile, feel hot, and have a history of fever than those with dysentery and skin infections. Fever combined with parental perception of fast breathing provided a more sensitive fever module for the detection of bacteraemia than the current IMCI module. Conclusions: In an area of low malaria prevalence, the IMCI guidelines provide antibiotics to the majority of children with bacterial infections, but improvements in the fever module are possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1096-1105
Number of pages10
JournalBulletin of the World Health Organization
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibiotic prophylaxis/utilization
  • Bacteremia/diagnosis/drug therapy
  • Bacterial infections/diagnosis/drug therapy
  • Bangladesh (source: MeSH)
  • Child/Delivery of health care, Integrated
  • Dysentery/diagnosis/drug therapy
  • Evaluation studies
  • Fever/drug therapy
  • Guidelines
  • Malaria/diagnosis
  • Meningitis, Bacterial/diagnosis/drug therapy
  • Otitis media/diagnosis/drug therapy
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial/diagnosis/drug therapy
  • Skin diseases, Infectious/diagnosis/drug therapy
  • Urinary tract infections/diagnosis/drug therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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