Indrani Kashyap/Jhpiego

Child Health

Tremendous achievements have been made globally in decreasing the number of deaths of children under the age of five in the last 15 years. However, the degree of these advances varies greatly from region to region. In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, 1 in 9 children dies before their fifth birthday — more than 15 times the average for developed regions. In Southern Asia, about 1 in 16 children dies before the age of five. Common causes of death in children, such as pneumonia, diarrhea, malnutrition and malaria, are preventable and treatable with proven child health interventions.

MCSP is a vital contributor to the global movement to end preventable child deaths. We work to protect children from diseases and to improve their access to lifesaving treatments globally and in the 25 priority USAID countries. In those countries and regions with greatest need, we are building capacity to plan, leverage resources, and scale up high-impact, cost-effective child health interventions.

We are assisting countries in setting achievable child survival targets, while establishing mechanisms for regular review and joint accountability for results. This is done by extending child health services to hard-to-reach populations and those with limited access to child health services. MCSP also encourages partner coordination and supports joint workplanning led by host governments and inclusive of civil society organizations and private sector partners. Key foci of child health work under MCSP to achieve these targets includes support provided for:

  • Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (or other basic sick child treatment services) pre- or in-service training, supervision and mentoring, and data collection and use at health facilities;
  • Introduction of Emergency Triage, Assessment and Treatment training, mentoring or supervision and/or data collection and use at referral health facilities;
  • Integrated Community Case Management (iCCM) training, supervision, equipment, supplies and/or data collection and use by community-based health workers outside of facilities;
  • Development of or change in guidelines or policies, strategic planning, health systems strengthening (e.g. supply chain or human resources strategies);
  • Activities that create demand for child health services and activities or approaches which promote appropriate family practices;
  • Systematic efforts to improve the quality of child health services provided at the facility or community levels and data collection on quality improvement activities (including outcome measurements); and
  • Technical assistance and support to advocate for and mobilize resources available for child health services.

MCSP focuses on the continuum of care from household to hospital, building on the achievements of USAID’s predecessor Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP). In strengthening access to management of childhood illness (IMCI) services, MCSP steers attention to developing strong links between facility- and community-based services and the health system.

As Secretariat of the iCCM Task Force, MCSP collaborates with UNICEF, WHO, USAID, NGO representatives, and other iCCM partner organizations to improve iCCM planning, implementation and scale-up. MCSP is working to end preventable child deaths by making treatment and services available to those most at risk.

To download MCSP’s child health fact sheet, click here.

Key Results


  • MCSP participated in and contributed to the World Health Organization (WHO) meeting to guide the strategic global review of integrated management of childhood illness. Simultaneously, the Program initiated and completed the review of global leadership in child health in an effort to evaluate the evolution of child health since 2000 and the networks of stakeholders and leaders involved. The recommendations from authors offer insight on how to strengthen and reposition global leadership for child health to attain better outcomes under the Sustainable Development Goals. Both reports have informed the development of USAID’s forthcoming child health strategy and reinvigorated the partnership of WHO/UNICEF for child health leadership.
  • MCSP prepared and disseminated five Global Fund New Funding Model Concept Note Review reports, which highlight iCCM for malaria in five countries: Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria and Zambia. The reports, which promote collaboration to more efficiently scale up iCCM, were shared with relevant fora (global and in-country) to inform future resource mobilization efforts.
  • The Program documented successes and challenges encountered in applying different quality improvement approaches to child health services. Based on findings from the related report, MCSP has taken more of a holistic view of quality, and has adopted the eight domains of WHO’s quality of care (QoC) framework for maternal and newborn health (MNH) to identify areas of priority in child health to improve the provision and experience of care for children and their caregivers. The Program is supporting the development of a pediatric QoC framework and will work internally and with WHO to ensure the MNH and pediatric QoC frameworks are rolled out on a single platform.
  • The iCCM Monitoring & Evaluation Subgroup of the iCCM Task Force worked to update the iCCM indicator guide (produced under MCHIP) to shorten the list of routine iCCM indicators recommended for all implementing countries. Using this short list of indicators, and looking at Health Management Information System (HMIS) registers to see which indicators are collected, MCSP remains well positioned to recommend new indicators and data points for inclusion into DHIS 2 and into other HMIS tools when revisions take place. By ensuring countries are collecting accurate data that paints a comprehensive picture, country programs can better identify bottlenecks and successes and be more reactive to priorities of governments and communities.
  • Through the iCCM Financing Task Team, MCSP provided technical assistance to 21 priority countries to integrate iCCM into their malaria and/or health systems strengthening Global Fund New Funding Model (NFM) concept notes. As a result, 18 countries have submitted iCCM-enhanced concept notes to the Global Fund. To date, based on the approved concept notes and the additional leveraged co-financing data, an estimated USD$212 million has been committed to implement and expand iCCM in 12 countries. Based on experience providing support to countries (Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Zambia) that applied for funding through the NFM as well as key informant interviews, MCSP has generated lessons learned and recommendations for strengthening partner coordination and developing stronger concept notes for future funding. Application of these recommendations will facilitate more equitable access to integrated care for under-5s.
Maternal Child Survival Program
Maternal and Child Survival Program