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Young Infant Sepsis Community

Welcome to the PSBI community of practice! Here you will find a vibrant online discussion community on managing possible serious bacterial infection (PSBI) in newborns and young infants when referral is not feasible. We host regular webinars on PSBI and an online exchange platform where you will have the opportunity to discuss with leading experts in the topic.

Please explore this page for valuable tools and best practices in implementation research to advocate for and facilitate the adoption, implementation, and scale up of simplified antibiotic regimens that are both safe and effective for outpatient treatment of sick newborns and infants (as advised by the World Health Organization).

New Materials

Making the Case

Infections including pneumonia, sepsis, and meningitis are responsible for 21% of neonatal deaths annually and were responsible for over 550,000 out of 2.6 million neonatal deaths in 2016, nearly all of them occurring in developing countries[i].

The recommended treatment for these sick newborns is referral for hospital treatment with a seven to ten days course of multiple injectable antibiotics. However, experience has shown that most of these children are unable to receive appropriate treatment because the “gold standard” inpatient care is neither possible nor acceptable for many families in resource-poor settings.

In September 2015 WHO published a guideline for managing PSBI in sick young infants when referral is not feasible. The guideline recommends the use of antibiotics for newborns and young infants (0-59 days old) with PSBI in order to reduce mortality. It also provides clinical guidance on the use of safe and effective simplified antibiotic regimens for outpatient treatment of less severe infections and programmatic guidance on the role of community health workers and home visits in identifying signs of PSBI.

A number of countries have introduced this new guideline and few of them such as Ethiopia, Malawi, and Nepal are implementing the guideline at scale. Early implementers have demonstrated that the implementation of the guideline where referral is not feasible has the potential to increase access to PSBI treatment and can contribute to the reduction of neonatal and young infant mortality, reduce inequity in access to care, and provide an opportunity to improve home visits. An operational guide provides practical guidance on how to operationalize the guideline in a program setting as part of the overall newborn and child health strategy.


The PSBI online community of practice provides a virtual platform where people can exchange technical knowledge, share resources and experiences, ask and answer questions, and help to connect people who might not ordinarily interact. We host regular webinars on PSBI and an online exchange platform where you will have the opportunity to discuss with leading experts in the topic.


Ponya Mtoto: The Ponya Mtoto project in Kenya aims to assist in reducing the number of infant deaths due to possible serious bacterial infection (PSBI) by revising national Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) guidelines.

Keeping young infants healthy: pamphlet for mothers and caregivers.  English   Swahili


The links below lead to pages to help policy makers and program implementers identify strategies and approaches for increasing access to PSBI treatment using the new PSBI guidelines.



Referring a sick young infant with possible serious bacterial infection to a higher level of care is not always feasible in resource-limited settings. This map shows progress in operationalizing the guideline for management of sick young infants with PSBI when referral is not feasible. Twenty-three benchmarks described in the Operational Guide were used to track progress. The benchmarks provide information into whether a specific milestone has been fully or partially achieved or not achieved at all. The countries highlighted in dark blue are implementing the new simplified treatment protocol to manage sick infants with PSBI when referral is not feasible thereby increasing access to life saving interventions. As more information from countries is made available the map will be updated.


[i] UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation. Level and Trends in Child Mortality, Report 2017, Estimates Developed by the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation. 2017

[ii] World Health Organization Guideline: Managing Possible Serious Bacterial Infection in Young Infants When Referral Is Not Feasible. Geneva: WHO; 2015.