|Fact sheet No 178: Reducing Mortality from Major Killers of Children - Revised September 1998 (WHO, 1998, 7 p.)|
Prevention is an important part of IMCI and a key to further reduction in the levels of child mortality. An important step forward in the prevention of pneumonia, for example, is likely to be through the use of new vaccines. In recent trials, vaccination provided 100% protection against pneumonia due to Haemophilus influenzae type b, the second most common cause of the disease. An effective vaccine against rotavirus, a major cause of dehydrating diarrhoea, is also available. IMCI-trained health workers use every contact with a child to check and increase vaccination coverage.
The best protection against measles is also immunization. In addition, vitamin A supplements have been found to reduce the severity of both measles and diarrhoea: trials in developing countries have shown that vitamin A supplements can reduce death from these and other infectious diseases by almost 25%.
For malaria, the proper use of insecticide-impregnated bednets can reduce child deaths by as much as 30%.