Child Health


The majority of childhood deaths in developing countries are due to diarrheal disease, acute lower respiratory tract infections, malaria, measles and malnutrition. The Manoff Group has applied tools and concepts from social marketing and communication and been a pioneer in improving child health and development. Our work has concentrated on evaluating and extending knowledge and programs for the prevention of childhood illness; treatment and care of the sick child; and increasing the public demand, understanding and use of health services.

Immunization

To prevent child deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases, the Manoff Group has worked in numerous countries over the past 25 years to understand and address barriers to higher immunization coverage—which frequently depend on the convenience, reliability and friendliness of vaccination services. With partners, we helped with national qualitative/quantitative studies of barriers to immunization in the Dominican Republic and Mozambique. These studies led to new training and service improvements in the DR and to communication initiatives and new guidelines for mobile brigades in Mozambique.

Community-based child health

During decades of community health work, Manoff Group and country partners have developed an effective model for preventing, referring and treating child health problems at the community level (in effect, operationalizing C-IMCI). The approach utilizes a well-trained group of community volunteers who weigh every child under age two at monthly sessions. This is followed by an assessment of the child's health and caregiver practices. Trained volunteers provided individually tailored counseling to caregivers who commit to try one or more new practices. The model includes a simple but effective information system that tracks a small number of key indicators. Feedback on these indicators is shared regularly with communities to keep families informed about the status of their children's health and to stimulate community actions to address shared problems. This model has been adopted nation-wide in Honduras, in other Central American countries and to a number of African countries.

Health service utilization

The Manoff Group has helped improve health service utilization in numerous countries. In-depth consultative research with both users and providers of services is the first step in understanding their motivations, problems, capabilities and constraints. Through the CHANGE Project, we worked with Project HOPE on a multi-country initiative to develop home-based reminder materials (Mother Reminder Materials) on child health danger signs and the urgency of seeking appropriate care. We have also worked extensively on adherence related to women taking daily iron tablets (Indonesia, Pakistan, Bolivia and other countries), child feeding (in dozens of countries), and hygiene recommendations (in various countries) and treatment instructions (Guatemala).

Malaria

Manoff staff have worked on the challenges of distribution and sale and appropriate use of mosquito nets in several countries. We oversaw TIPs in Eastern Province, Zambia, that tested both different modes of obtaining nets and families' willingness and ability to use them as intended (hung properly, for mothers and young children, every night all year round).

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