Regional consultation on redesigning child health guidelines and guidance materials


31 October–1 November 2017, Copenhagen, Denmark

From 31 October to 1 November, at UN City in Copenhagen, WHO/Europe will host a regional consultation to examine a redesign of the guidelines for children’s health.

During the period of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), 1990–2015, child mortality halved worldwide, with the number of deaths of children under the age of 5 dropping from 12 million to less than 6 million per year. WHO guidelines, such as the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI), are assumed to have contributed to this reduction.

The experience gained in the past 25 years can be drawn upon when formulating new guidelines.
The transition to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provides an opportunity to reconsider and revise the global child health response, and to redesign the overall approach to child health.

The consultation will see the participation of 20 experts from 10 different countries alongside WHO staff and partner agencies.

Key challenges for child health

The main complaints of children in outpatient facilities – fever, cough and diarrhoea – have remained the same over the years. Issues of who needs specific therapy and who needs hospital admission remain the most pressing concern of the primary provider. Beyond catering to younger children, adolescent-friendly services are also important, as are school health issues. Other emerging priorities include injuries; chronic and other noncommunicable diseases such as obesity, diabetes and childhood cancers; and child abuse and neglect.

In addition, child development is high on the agenda. Many countries in the WHO European Region rely heavily on screening examinations, and repeated follow-up and over-treatment of mild and self-limiting conditions. This is often violating the rights of the child, by limiting their full participation in everyday life and development of skills.


The objectives of the regional consultation are:

  • to capture regional feedback on two reviews undertaken in 2016:  the Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illness (IMNCI) child health strategic review; and the WHO/Europe IMCI review, with special focus on recommendations on the redesign of child health guidelines and guidance materials;
  • to receive feedback on a proposed draft conceptual framework for the redesign of child health guidelines and guidance materials;
  • to provide recommendations on the way forward for WHO guidelines for children and adolescents in Europe.

Expected outcomes

The expected outcomes of the regional consultation are:

  • feedback and regional perspectives provided on the IMNCI strategic review
  • regional priorities identified for the survive and thrive agenda
  • feedback provided on the proposed draft conceptual framework for the child health redesign

Key reference documents

The SDGs have been translated into The Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health.

Lessons learned globally are highlighted in the review document Towards a grand convergence for child survival and health and others are discussed in the Mapping global leadership in child health monograph.