There will be situations where the mother should not wait for the prescribed time for follow-up but should return to the health worker immediately. It is extremely important that you stress this to the mother when you advise her about follow-up visits. Table 14.4 sets out when the mother should return to see you or another health worker immediately.

Table 14.4 Summary of when to return immediately to the health post.

Advise the mother to return immediately if the child has any of these signs:

Any sick child

∙ Not able to drink or breastfeed

∙ Becomes sicker

∙ Develops fever

If child has no pneumonia: cough or cold

∙ Fast breathing

∙ Difficult breathing

If child has diarrhoea

∙ Blood in stool

∙ Drinking poorly

In your health post, you may have the mother's card resource. You can use the Mother's Card when teaching her the signs for when to return immediately. Use local terms that the mother can understand. The Mother's Card presents the signs in both words and drawings. Be sure to check the mother's understanding so that you are satisfied that she knows in what circumstances she should return to the health post immediately with her child.