Background: The conventional IMCI training for healthcare providers is delivered in 11 days, which can be expensive and disruptive to the normal clinical routines of the providers. An equally effective, shorter training course may address these challenges. Methods: We conducted a quasi-experimental study in two provinces (Sindh and Punjab) of Pakistan. 104 healthcare providers were conveniently selected to receive either the abridged (7-day) or the standard (11-day) training. Knowledge and clinical skills of the participants were assessed before, immediately on conclusion of, and six months after the training. Results: The improvement in mean knowledge scores of the 7-day and 11-day training groups was 31.6 (95% CI 24.3, 38.8) and 29.4 (95% CI 23.9, 34.9) respectively, p = 0.630 while the improvement in mean clinical skills scores of the 7-day and 11-day training groups was 23.8 (95% CI: 19.3, 28.2) and 23.0 (95% CI 18.9, 27.0) respectively, p = 0.784. The decline in mean knowledge scores six months after the training was − 12.4 (95% CI − 18.5, − 6.4) and − 6.4 (95% CI − 10.5, − 2.3) in the 7-day and 11-day groups respectively, p = 0.094. The decline in mean clinical skills scores six months after the training was − 6.3 (95% CI − 11.3, − 1.3) in the 7-day training group and − 9.1 (95% CI − 11.5, − 6.6) in the 11-day group, p = 0.308. Conclusion: An abridged IMNCI training is equally effective as the standard training. However, training for certain illnesses may be better delivered by the standard course.
- Child health
- Neonatal health