Background: This study aims to assess the mandatory practical skills of caregivers towards the implementation of the Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illness (IMNCI) strategy in primary health care (PHC) centers of Salah al-Din governorate in Iraq.
Methods: A cross-sectional comparative study was conducted from January to May 2014. An equal sample of 42 trained and 42 non-trained caregivers who are working in 20 PHC centers in Tikrit city and other districts of Salah al-Din governorate of Iraq were included. The study tool was a semi-structured questionnaire with 20 questions covering different required practical skills that caregivers should have. The total score was 100 and in a range of 4- 6 points for each question. An independent sample t-test was used to compare the means of numerical variables.
Results: The mean age of total respondents were (33.18 ± 5.82Years), and the vast majority (63, 75.0%) were females. More than two-third (58, 69.0%) were paramedical compared to 26 (31.0%), who were doctors. Trained caregivers had statistically significant better practice (73.48 ± 13.46) compared to non- trained caregivers (63.95 ± 17.44). Trained doctors had statistically significant better practice (88.15 ± 2.70) compared to trained paramedical staff (66.90 ± 10.84). Trained caregivers from Tikrit city had statistically significantly better practice (80.26 ± 7.38) compared to trained caregivers from districts (67.89± 14.85). The highest proportion (97.5%) of trained caregivers felt the child for fever or body hotness appropriately, and the lowest proportion (59.5%) of them recorded age, height, and weight correctly.
Conclusion: This study showed that training has a positive influence on the implementation of IMNCI interventions. IMNCI-trained caregivers were more likely to correctly classify illnesses than non-trained caregivers.