FG develops strategy to reduce pneumonia-related morbidities, mortalities

The Federal Government has developed a National Pneumonia Control Strategy and Implementation Plan (NPCSIP), to reduce the menace of pneumonia-related morbidities and mortalities among children under the age of five years in Nigeria.

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, during the launching of the national pneumonia control strategy and implementation plan in Abuja, said that pneumonia remains one of the world’s leading infectious disease killers of children.

The minister, in a press release signed by Ministry’s Head (Media & Public Relations), Enefaa Bob-Manuel, declared that annually pneumonia claim about 800,000 lives of children under the age of five, despite the disease being preventable, and treatable.

Dr Ehanire stated that the highest-burden of pneumonia is in the world’s poorest countries and among the most deprived and marginalised children.

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According to him, children affected by pneumonia from poor families in the low and middle-income countries are likely to die due to the social and economic inequalities which lead to poor access to basic essential health service.

Dr Ehanire said that the government in the effort to address this challenge in under-five children have adopted the integrated management of childhood illness (IMCI), including the provision of essential vaccines and the campaign for exclusive breastfeeding practice.

The Minister said the ministry of health in collaboration with other partners such as the “every Breath counts coalition” and UNICEF had held a cross-sectorial and inter-ministerial consultative meeting to identify barriers in pneumonia control in Nigeria, and articulated this in the first edition of the National Pneumonia Control strategy and plan.

The Permanent Secretary, Health, Abdullaziz Mashi Abdullahi, declared that Nigeria’s rate of death in under-five children in the country is unacceptable and therefore the need to have a strategy document that would help Nigeria in reducing Pneumonia related deaths.

Abdullahi disclosed that the National Pneumonia Control Strategy and Implementation Plan was developed through a multi-sectoral and consultative stakeholders’ engagement and it encompasses all interventions aimed at reducing Pneumonia related mortalities based on the existing operational policies, guidelines and strategies.

He affirmed that the Federal Ministry of Health remains committed to scaling up high impact interventions that would address the major killers of children under five years of age and Nigerians in general.

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