The high burden of childhood pneumonia deaths belies the fact that pneumonia-related mortality is preventable with simple interventions and appropriate treatment. WHO recommends that children between two months and five years of age diagnosed with fast-breathing pneumonia be treated with oral amoxicillin as dispersible tablets (DTs). However, only one-third of pneumonia cases receive antibiotics as part of the treatment regimen, and even when antibiotics are available, evidence indicates that the full course of antibiotics is not consistently taken.
Through its support of the pneumonia and diarrhea working group under the UNCoLSC, and in partnership with UNICEF and PATH, SIAPS validated job aids and dispensing envelopes for the treatment of pneumonia with amoxicillin DTs in DRC. SIAPS introduced the dispensing envelopes and job aids to community health workers and health care workers in health facilities in two health zones in DRC. The program also assessed their feasibility, acceptability, and user friendliness among health workers and caregivers of sick children and the adherence to amoxicillin treatment using these tools.
Health care providers and caregivers were able to understand the tools. The job aid helped providers correctly dispense amoxicillin DT and give patients advice on administering the medication. Mothers appreciated the envelopes, which guided them in administering the medicine at home, and the majority of mothers were observed to have administered the correct number of tablets (i.e., adhered to treatment). The job aid and dispensing envelope are easy-to-use tools that were accepted by amoxicillin DT users, and it is recommended to introduce them into the DRC health system to support the use of amoxicillin DT in the management of childhood pneumonia.
Co-funding for the study, the report, and its dissemination was provided by the pneumonia and diarrhea working group through UNICEF.