The Federal Government has called on various stakeholders in the health sector to prioritize efforts aimed at tackling Childhood Pneumonia while assuring the necessarypolicy framework for its actualization in the country. The theme of this year's World Pneumonia Day is “Pneumonia Affects Everyone”.
The Honourable Minister Of State for Health, Honourable Joseph Ekumankama, ably resented by Director/ Head Child Health Division Dr Nwosu S.U made this call, during a press briefing which took place at the Ministry’s Headquarters in Abuja on November 28, 2022.
Speaking at the event, HonourableEkumankama disclosed that approximately, one (100) Million childhood pneumonia episodes with associated 808,920 related deaths occur globally and World Health Organisation (WHO) states that Nigeria witnesses about 162,000 under-five death due to this disease annually recalling that low and middle -income countries (LMICs), are affected disproportionately especially those in sub-Saharan Africa.
Still speaking he mentioned that the global health community has mobilized swiftly against Malaria, Polio, Tuberculosis and HIV, but unfortunately, attention has not been prioritized towards the reduction of pneumonia-related morbidity and mortality.
He also informed that the solutions to tackling pneumonia and other childhood-relatedillnesses do not require major advances in technology, in that pneumonia death could be reduced by two- third if the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia (GAPP), which was developed by WHO and UNICEF are adopted. He also, revealed that Government is strongly committed to implementing the GAPP initiative through the development of the Nigerian Integrated Pneumonia Control Strategy and Implementation Plan. Maintaining that “This brings together all critical services and interventions aimed at reducing the incidence and prevalence of childhood pneumonia,” he said.
Speaking further, he affirmed that Government has provided the policy framework as it can no longer contend with bad indices. He, therefore, called on WHO, UNICEF, USAID, Save the Children International and CHAI as well as other well-meaning stakeholders “to prioritize childhood pneumonia as an important condition
in its own right,” he said.
Earlier in her opening remark, Director Family Health Dr Salma Anas, represented by Director/ Head GASHE DrOvuoraye John, informed that the ministry partnered withUnited for Oxygen in establishing and upgrading of existing Oxygen plants in the Country.“This we all know will go along way in reducing mortality to due to pneumonia and other causes of hypoxaemia,” She said.
She affirmed that the Ministry has been able to harmonize and incorporatethe Integrated Community Case Management (ICCM) of childhood illness, a policy formulated by the government for reducing the incidence of childhood killer diseases at community level into CHIPPS programmewhich was launched last year with a view to having a holistic and integrated care for Nigerian children.
Goodwill messages were received from UNICEF,CHAI, USAID, MCGL amongst others.
Ahmadu A.A Chindaya
DD (Media &Public Relations)
November 28, 2022.