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 disclosed this during the launching of the national pneumonia control strategy and implementation plan, held at the ministry’s headquarter, Abuja .
He revealed that the pneumonia remains one of the world’s leading infectious disease killer of children which annually 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 unfortunately concentrated in the world’s poorest countries.
The most deprived and marginalised children suffer most, especially those 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.
The Minister said that the government in the effort to address the challenges of under five children, adopted the integrated management of childhood illness (IMCI) as the main thrust of the child survival strategy, provision of essential vaccines and the campaign for exclusive breast-feeding practice which is yielding positive results
The Minister informed that due to the pneumonia ravages in the country the ministry of health in collaboration with the “every Breath counts coalition –UNICEF and save the children and other stakeholders in the public and private sectors, held cross- sectorial and inter-ministerial consultative meeting to identity barriers in pneumonia control in Nigeria, and articulated the first edition of the National Pneumonia Control strategy and plan.
Dr Ehanire therefore launched the document, and urged “Every Breath Count Coalition”, all partners and stakeholders working with the ministry to implement the National Integrated Pneumonia Control Strategy and Implementation Plan.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Mr.Abdullaziz Mashi Abdullahi informed that the rate of under-five children’s death recorded in the country is unacceptable and therefore brought the need to have a strategy document that would help Nigeria in reducing Pneumonia related deaths.
Mr. Abdullahi further 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.