400,000 children dying of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea yearly in Nigeria – PACFaH

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By; Bayo Akamo, Ibadan.
The Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health in Nigeria (PACFaH) has alerted that Pneumonia and Diarrhoea is presently responsible for the untimely death of about 400,000 children in Nigeria yearly.
Also, the group declared that no fewer than 111 women and young girls die daily from conditions associated with pregnancy and Childbirth.
PACFaH raised these alarm in Ibadan at a press conference on emerging trends in child and family health in Nigeria addressed by its spokesperson, Mr David Akpotor held at the Civil Development Centre.
The group emphasized that the time has come for Nigeria to implement global recommendations and guidelines to checkmate the trend in line with the 2012 United Nations Commissions on Life Saving Commodities (UNCoLSC) recommendations and guidelines reviewed and approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Children’s Funds (UNICEF) and the Paediatric Association of Nigeria (PAN).
“In Nigeria, no fewer than 400,000 children die from Pneumonia and Diarrhoea. It is therefore critical that Nigeria implements global recommendations and guidelines especially the 2012 United Nations Commissions on Life Saving Commodities (UNCoLSC),” he said.
It pointed out that the “delay in the adoption and full implementation of the life saving guidelines in Nigeria “is largely due to inadequate political will, regulatory bottlenecks, low awareness and absence of specific budget lines at all levels of healthcare for the procurement of the recommended commodities.
PACFaH observed that as a way out, there is the need for “timely release and judicious utilization of funds allocated for the procurement of the aforementioned essential commodities, scale up and increased utilization of the recommended Childhood Diarrhoea commodity (Zinc/LO~ORS).
“In order to significantly address the unnecessary and untimely death in Nigeria, where Pneumonia and Diarrhoea are responsible for 16% and 19% deaths, respectively of under 5 mortality, we strongly advocate for the adoption and use of Amoxicillin dispersible tablet compack as first line treatment for childhood Pneumonia and Diarrhoea respectively in line with the revised WHO/UNICEF treatment guidelines”.
“We advocated that the concerted efforts by the Ministries of Health, National Planning Commission, the budget office and Finance to create specific budget line in the Ministry of Health for the procurement of the essential Life Saving Commodities”.
On family planning, the group stressed that Family Planning has been proven to be a very useful contributory intervention in addressing the high maternal and child mortality.
“In Nigeria, no fewer than 111 women and young girls die daily from conditions associated with pregnancy and childbirth. Family Planning has been universally recognized as one of the key pillars and most cost effective means of achieving safe motherhood”.

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