In the early 1990s, the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF developed the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) as the main strategy to promote health and provide preventive and curative services for children under 5 in countries with high child mortality. In 2003, care for newborns under 1 week of age was added to IMCI, and in many countries, the strategy was renamed Integrated Management of Newborn and Childhood Illness (IMNCI).
While the inclusion of newborn care in IMCI initially focused on the outpatient setting, countries included some elements of inpatient newborn care into the IMNCI platform during the adaptation process. Over 100 countries have adopted IMNCI and implemented its three components. With the aim of bringing child health services closer to the community, countries have also implemented integrated community case management (iCCM) of pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria for children 2–59 months and care for newborns at home since the early 2000s, which is seen as an extension of IMNCI.
As new evidence builds, global recommendations on newborn care delivery at the primary health care level are expanding. While it is assumed that countries generally adopt the contents of the WHO sick young infant module and global recommendations in newborn care, what the “N” in IMNCI translates to at countries level is not well understood.
This assessment was designed to understand the newborn care content in country IMNCI and iCCM materials, specifically focusing on content related to essential newborn care (ENC), postnatal care (PNC), care for low-birthweight (LBW) and preterm babies, breastfeeding and support to mothers for breast milk feeding, management of possible serious bacterial infection (PSBI), and care during referral. The review findings will contribute to global- and national-level discussions and revisions to newborn content in standard guidelines for primary health service delivery.